The Ultimate Curtain Call

“If God would concede me His omnipotence for 24 hours, you would see how many changes I would make in the world.  But if He gave me His wisdom too, I would leave things as they are.”–Jacques Marie Louis Monsabre

How often do we look around this world and think of all the things we would change?  All the ways we could improve it?  All the things that could be done differently?  In my opinion, the world is the way it is because God has given us toomuch governance over it.  For the world to be better, we should have less control over circumstances, not more.  We’ve made a big enough mess without God conceding to us His omnipotence.

When I think of why things must be the way they are, the last person I blame is God.  When I wonder why He allows some things to happen, I am reminded that God can see things I can’t.  God is outside of time and circumstance.  This whole play, from the beginning to the end has already been written, we are just inside of it, walking it out.  Which is not to say that we are robots, merely walking out a script that God has written.  We have free will and have been given the freedom to make our own choices.  We speak our own lines in this play and God has provided the stage.  But God already knows what will happen– He bookends linear time– from beginning to end He is there, waiting.  Nothing comes as a surprise to God, so whatever we encounter in this life, He already has a plan.  He already has preparations in place to help us endure it.

When I think of all the bonehead decisions I’ve made and all the times God has checkmated those decisions, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.  Which is not to say that He has never allowed me to suffer the consequences of my own ignorance, because He has.  But eventually, I always came around.  Eventually, He lifted me out of the slimy pit, mud and mire.  Sometimes it took longer to come out of the mud and mire than others, but He was always there.

I no longer dwell on wondering why bad things happened to me, because I think of all the bad things that should have or could have happened, but didn’t.  And I am filled with gratitude.  I don’t look for God’s seeming “failures,” I look for His grace.  Even in the darkest, deepest pit, you can find His grace.  Even if all else seems to fail, we at least still have eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.  And that is worth losing everything else.  Eternal life in the presence of Jesus Christ is worth every moment of suffering, every failed plan, every rejection, every criticism, every staggering loss.

In my finite, flawed, and fallen reasoning, there are many things I would change about the world if God gave me the power to do it.  But if He gave me His wisdom along with it, I would change nothing.  Because then I would see as God sees.  I would see that everything has been orchestrated around a perfect, finished plan.  I would see the grand design of a Master Clocksmith– every gear precisely positioned to make all the others turn, ticking in unison, “click, click, click,” marking off each second, each decision, each circumstance, turning the wheel of time forward until God walks out onto the stage and the play is over.  Until the ultimate curtain call.

C.S. Lewis had this to say about it:  “God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else – something it never entered your head to conceive – comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.”

“For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose” (Isaiah 46:9,10)

“I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in Him.” (Psalm 40:1-3)

“In the same way, any one of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:33)

“But watch yourselves, or your hearts will be weighed down by dissipation, drunkenness, and the worries of life–and that day will spring upon you suddenly like a snare. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. So keep watch at all times, and pray that you may have the strength to escape all that is about to happen and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them.They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'” (Rev 21:1-4)

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