“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Well, it took me a year and a week, but I did it! I read through the Bible, beginning to end (chronologically, that is). Thanks to Tara-Leigh Cobble and the Bible Recap podcast for helping me to make sense of it all. Each day, readers were asked to search the daily Scripture reading for what Tara-Leigh calls a “God shot.” That is, what do we learn about WHO God is from what we’ve read. Some days this task was harder than others—like during days that were ONLY genealogy! But we did it.
And upon completion, I can see that the whole story is woven and orchestrated in a way that fits so perfectly together. In contemplating my “God shot” for the whole thing, I could easily choose to highlight God’s love, grace, long-suffering patience, mercy, faithfulness, or so many more. But I think that the biggest thing that stood out to me about God in the pages of Scripture—the WHOLE Scripture—is His sovereignty. He is indeed working all things together for His glory and our good—from eternity past through eternity future. You see it everywhere, almost daily.
It makes me think of a book that the kids and I recently finished reading, The Horse and His Boy, book 5 of 7 in the Chronicles of Narnia series. If you’ve not read the series, I highly recommend them—they are classics, to be sure. C.S. Lewis has such an amazing way of weaving spiritual truths into this epic allegorical storyline. In this fifth book, he tells the story of a boy named Shasta, who escapes from the harsh man who raised him after finding him in a boat on the water’s edge in a far-off country, with a talking horse from Narnia. The unlikely pair sets off, “For Narnia, and the North!” They encounter many adventures and misadventures on the way, but also come across a young woman named Aravis, and her Narnian horse, and all four make the journey together.
There comes a point when Shasta has thwarted an enemy attack on Narnia’s sister country, Archenland, but has gotten lost in a dense fog, with an uncooperative horse (not his horse), and he’s given in to great despair. To make matters worse, he can hear and sense the presence of Someone, or Something, beside him. That Someone keeps pace with him, but says nothing, until Shasta finally speaks. He ends up telling this Someone about the entire journey, one that included among other challenges several run-ins with wild lions, concluding that he must be the most unfortunate boy to ever live. “I do not call you unfortunate,” replies the Voice. To which Shasta counters, “Don’t you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?”
“There was only one lion,” said the Voice…. “How do you know?” Asked Shasta. The answer is so priceless that I will include it in full:
“I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”
Those familiar with Narnia will recognize that the Lion is Aslan, Son of the Emperor across the Sea, and Ruler of Narnia and the entire world in which it lies. Shasta came to realize when the fog had lifted the following day that the Lion had walked that entire night between him and a very dangerous precipice, further protecting him, orchestrating his every circumstance, for GOOD. Aslan is the allegorical representation of Jesus—our comfort, our protection, our Savior.
And what a comfort it is to SEE and KNOW that HE is forever with me, working all things together for good, and that He’s where the joy is!