Cowering at Sovereignty
First, I would have to intellectually deal with the problem of sovereignty before the problem of pain. The doctrine of grace would be settled by necessity. No more claims to the convenient middle ground in which I could keep present company. Either tomorrow was determined by my choices or I would agree with Homer and grant that power to the plan of God. Too much was at stake to risk the former.
Life had become a frightful labyrinth of shattered glass beneath bare feet. My journal entries for over a year began with the words “today there is a feeling of impending doom…” It would be a decade before I read the Iliad, yet instinctively that “rage” against the father was about to wreak murderous doom with “countless losses, hurling down to death.” That loss came immediately and so did my repentance.
The thought of losing more than we already had was the one inconsolable grief that paralyzed my faith, causing me to cower at His Sovereignty. The next blow would be final, if there would be one. Bloodied and broken, metaphorically speaking, there was no room for error. John Bunyan wrote,
It came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said and however he flattered, when he got me home to his house, he would sell me for a slave.
Was the worse yet to come? Our tragic epic had only just begun and the Proem declared the end, ….or so it seemed.