Friday late afternoon, I was happily seated in my favorite armchair, fire roaring, kids occupied, and throughly engrossed in a book I had started that day: The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink. (It is an excellent biblical look at the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, and if you have not read it, I highly recommend that you download it free, here.) I love the doctrines of sovereignty and providence. They are comforting and make sense of life for the believer. So there I am, reveling in this wonderful doctrine, when in walks my husband, just home from work, with the mail in hand. I ask how his day was, and he inquires about mine. Then he remarks that it looks as if I have received a summons for jury duty.
This is the part of my story, dear readers, where things go down hill and I am confronted with my sin nature. Again.
I am not a fan of being in public. At all. Being an introvert, I do not like crowds or noise. I am territorial about my time and do not like to do things and go places when it is not my idea to do so. But God, who is the inventor and therefore master of irony, decided to work His providential magic and deal with this issue of selfishness in me by ordaining that I received my jury summons while reading about the doctrine of sovereignty, which I absolutely love, unless it applies to me in a way that I do not like. Ha ha. The irony did not escape me; but I freaked out anyway.
My first order of action was to complain. “I do not want to do this! How can I get out of it? Do you think I can get out of it?” I texted a friend who was a lawyer and asked what the accepted reasons were for being dismissed from duty. None of them applied to me, naturally. I fretted, complained some more, got generally in a fix and then the Holy Spirit brought this scripture to mind:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. (Romans 13:1-4)
It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin, and to bring the scriptures to mind. I had just experienced both; discipline of a loving Father. In case it wasn’t getting through, when I was texting with an older sister in the faith who is a dear friend and mentor, she too quoted the scripture to me.
God is a good, good Father, and He lovingly reproved me and convicted me of my sinful attitude and rebellion. He was merciful to soften my heart, giving me the ability to confess my sin and repent……and find joy in submitting to His authority by submitting to my local authority. By the time I went to bed that night, I had began to warm up to the idea of my upcoming jury duty. Who knows why God has me there. Maybe just for the lesson I have told you about regarding my own stubbornness, but maybe He wants me there for other reasons. Regardless, I am happy to obey Him and happy that He reminded me that it is Him I am obeying. Like any child, I long to please my Father. I am so thankful for a merciful and patient Heavenly Father, who disciplines us, forgives us, and enables us to obey Him with joy and thankfulness. He also has a great sense of humor. 😉
Soli Deo Gloria!