This evening I witnessed a huge flock of birds as they cast their cooperative shadow upon a busy intersection. They swirled around as if playing a fluttering game of musical chairs! As they settled momentarily upon a conglomerate of perches ranging from tree limbs to electrical wires, I was suddenly romanced by thoughts of the sovereignty of God. Entranced by the realities of migration, I was reminded that these ordinary birds boast extraordinary instinctive prowess. It seems very reasonable to "fly south" before inhospitable climates approach, yet unreasonable to expect a bird to possess the faculties required to make such sound decisions. Thus, the birds have good reason to fly south every November, though they possess not the ability to comprehend or explain the reason for doing so.
God's sovereignty is crystal clear in every ordinary taken-for-granted occurrence in the natural world whether it be bird migration, working ant colonies, or the unstoppable force of arctic glaciers. When we take a closer look, it's not a sovereignty that is passive, but one that it is causal. In other words, our God not only formed man from the dust of the earth, He continually forms man with the fire of His Spirit. He doesn't merely set things in motion, He is motion! His hand not only points the way for the migrating fowl, It transforms the seasons which inspire migration! He is not only the wind beneath the wings of the sparrow, He is the flexor of each wing of every flying creature! He directs every movement, glide, and flap by the Word of His mouth!
All of this sounds glorious when we're talking about birds, but how does the reality of God's sovereignty affect our hearts? As image-bearers we love the Light who guides our steps, but as broken mirrors we despise a God who has already plotted our course. As redeemed, we love a God who plans our future, but as depraved we hate a God who decided the ending before speaking the words "let there be light". We love that God has given us a choice, but hate that God has made our choice.
We don't know God's reasons for the suffering in this world, yet we incessantly demand a reason. When we do, that's pure unbelief. It's unbelieving and short-sighted to define God's sovereignty as somehow owing an explanation. As Tim Keller said, "If
you have a God big enough to be mad at for not stopping evil, then you
have a God big enough for having reasons why He hasn't stopped evil
that you can't conceive of.
Meanwhile, the sparrow doesn't resent his annual trek . He can not conceive of a reason to fly south, but then again he can not conceive of a reason not to.