Disappointment and the Sovereignty of God
I began journaling after my earthly father went into the hospital on Christmas Day, 2013. After this, he went into a nursing home where he died on February 16, 2014. At first, the journal was sporadic and consisted of jotting down things that happened and thoughts that I was having. Later that year, the journal became a daily devotion in which I wrote letters to God. For the first 4 years my letters to God were in a paper journal but last year I started writing them in a word document because I was doing my daily Scripture reading on my iPad.
In January of this year I decide to begin a second journal because I happened to have an empty paper journal on my bookshelf. I began writing in this journal things that I wanted to remember. I would go days and even weeks between writing in this second journal. However, on September 15, 2019, I got off of an airplane in the country of Cuba. I wanted to keep a record of everything that I saw, everything that I did, everything that happened, the people I meet and the thoughts that I had while in Cuba. But my journaling did not end when I returned to Texas, because of this second journal I began writing this blog retrospective of the past week. This will be the 6th week in a row that I have written about the previous week. I titled the first 5 retrospective blogs with the dates of the week but going forward I will seek a title related to the theme of the week.
Yo, no estoy feliz porque no voy a Cuba
I am not happy because I am not going to Cuba. I was supposed to return to Cuba on December 1st through the 8th to assist another brother; we were to teach systematic theology to pastors and church leaders of 100 churches during a week long seminar. Last week, I learned that there was a delay with the government issuing of our visas. Then on the evening of the Thanksgiving holiday I learned that the visas were denied by the Cuban government. I am not blaming anyone, for I believe in the sovereignty of God in all things. If it was God’s will that we go to Cuba and teach, then we would be going to Cuba to teach. Everything is by God’s decree; God either causes events or allows them to happen for his purposes. The apostle Paul wrote:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28, NLT)
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (1 Cor. 13:12, NLT)I graduated with a Masters degree in theological studies and felt called to teach theological studies to church leaders in Cuba. After hearing the news that our visas were denied, I wrote an extended entry in my journal expressing my disappointment. I confess that I even shed a few tears because I fell in love with the Cuban church; especially those on the ministry team in Cuba. I have dear friends in Cuba that I cannot see or hear. During the past few months I have been working hard to learn the Spanish language, so that I may communicate better with them. I have also been diligent in memorizing the prolog to the gospel of John in Spanish, that I might recite it for them; thus, demonstrating my desire to communicate the gospel in their heart language. Will I ever return to Cuba? If not Cuba where would the Lord have me serving in his kingdom? I do not know the answers but I do know that the Son of God, Jesus Christ is the sovereign Lord of the universe and he causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28)