Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Trusting God's Sovereignty


“The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace;
they find rest as
they lie in death.” Isaiah 57:1-2


I recently found the sham of a report issued by the Navy with regard to my brother, John's, murder in my mother’s things. As most of you know my mom passed away last year. Now I understand even more why my parents kept me and my siblings from reading it. The inconsistencies throughout this ridiculous report scream injustice, but my parents were powerless to change things. For me to read the report now, 30 years later, God must be up to something. My mind is going a mile a minute, thinking the time is now to re-investigate and write about what I find. Please pray for me.

After my brother’s murder, the verses above were given to my mother by a friend. As I ponder this passage from Isaiah, my mind takes me back to the first brothers, Cain and Able. I attempt to comprehend how hatred towards someone who does things right could escalate to killing them. Even though it is hard to understand, it is still happening today. As I examine my brother Johnny’s life, a model citizen, friend, and brother I have come to the conclusion that his goodness brought out murderous hatred in someone, somewhere in Jacksonville, Florida back in February of 1979.

Thank God for his promises. Thank his Son, Jesus, for rising from the dead, after dying to save all people, even those who hated him for being good, to give us life everlasting. And thank you Holy Spirit for surrounding us with special people who you prompt to remind us of God's great and precious promises in the middle of heartache and tragedy. When my mom's friend gave us Isaiah 57:1-2, I'm sure her intent was to comfort and console my mom and all of us family members. God’s powerful word did just that. My brother has entered into peace and found rest and we know, at least in part, the answer to, “Why?”

Dearest Lord Jesus,
I trust your sovereignty in my life, even when the why question is not answered completely. My time to be “taken away” is in your hands. Living in this broken world confuses me, so please help me to remain fully surrendered to your will and way, because there I can see and hear you and live your promised abundant life. I want to obey, by going where you lead and doing what you guide me to do-in your strength, not mine. You are the way, the truth, and the life. I love you with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Picture of John Arthur Browning, 1965, age 12.

3 comments:

mari said...

Susan, Your post is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you. I was just asking God to speak to me about several struggles that I see in the lives of people around me--people who I care about very much. In each situation, there are people involved who do not know God, thus they do not seek to do what is truly good and just. I ache, wanting to fix each situation. I just spent time with God and my Bible and came away with this: I have to trust that God really is able to work good in all situations. And that I have to seek God's discernment, so I don't work against Him. It's easy to run ahead and make things worse...or to miss his call to action when we don't open our hearts to truly listen to Him. Again, thanks for this post.

Susan Schulz said...

You are welcome, Mari. I was concerened about whether or not I got my point across, but your comment proved God took over and made sure I did. Trusting in His sovereignty is the best way, but oftentimes a struggle. I have learned from David in the Psalms that it is ok to cry our prayers, and even rant and rave a little, as long we end with the "but God" verses like he did. The moment I met you, I saw your tender heart, for the lost and hurting. Always listen and trust God with the results and we will be all right. Blessings, Susan

Deitra said...

Susan, thank you for sharing something so dear and tender to your heart. I did not know this about your brother. How old were you when this happened? How old was he? Your walk with God means even more knowing you have had to navigate these difficult waters. My heart goes out to you sweet friend.