One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is, How can God through all things be pursuing his glory (and thus remain always happy) when much of what happens is explicitly against his revealed will in Scripture? How can he happily bring about everything according to his eternal plan when so much bad happens? And closer to home, how can God pursue his glory through the death of Davin when he weeps over him? How does that glorify him?
Ultimately, the answer—which has been of great comfort to me—is that God is able to look at the world through two lenses. When he sees the death of his child, he is grieved and afflicted (Ezekiel 18:32). That’s through one lens.
But when God looks at a painful or wicked event through his wide-angle lens, he sees the tragedy of the sin in relation to everything leading up to it and everything flowing out from it. He sees it in relation to all the connections and effects that form a pattern, a mosaic, stretching into eternity. This mosaic in all its parts—good and evil—brings him delight (Desiring God, 39).
There’s actually life and death hanging in the balance of this precious truth (Ps 119:92), because it means that evil doesn’t foil God’s plans nor destroy the pursuit of his glory, but instead is part of the picture he’s painting to magnify his worth. It means that Davin’s life and death are part of the masterpeice God is painting to display his glory—for his joy and ours. One day we will look on his work and be deeply satisfied with joy.
He has designed from all eternity, and is infallibly forming with every event, a magnificent mosaic of redemptive history. The contemplation of this mosaic (with both its dark and bright tiles) fills his heart with joy (40).
God is able to be always and infinitely happy in himself because he is absolutely sovereign to bring about all that he desires. And the promise is that when we seek our happiness in God, we drink from an infinitely glorious fountain that cannot go dry. Even in heartache and loss—though we feel nothing but sorrow now—we can hope in the promise of the day when we look on Davin’s story, as we do Christ’s, and our hearts will be filled with joy.
Right now that feels impossible, but “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
What we have lost God will restore—
That, and himself, forevermore,
When he is finished with his art:
The quiet worship of our heart.
When God creates a humble hush,
And makes Leviathan his brush,
It won’t be long before the rod
Becomes the tender kiss of God.