God's Sovereignty in all things.
I can see the Lord's sovereignty in my parents divorce. Were they not to have gotten divorced, I would not have grown up both a Southern Baptist and a PCUSA denomination. If I hadn't grown up in both of these churches, I would not have had the theological sampler plate that I did. This would have made my reformed-charismatic views of today much MUCH harder to come by.
I can see the Lord's sovereignty in Joe and Tara Donato moving to Alachua once they got married. Had they not, I would not have ended up at First Baptist of High Springs my freshman year. Had they not, I would not have left High Springs when the youth pastor did. Had they not, I would not have ended up at Abundant Grace. I would not doing life with these blessed people. I would not be living with girls who are "heavenly sandpaper."
I can see the Lord's sovereignty in my friendships. The fact that Aimee Hill and I used to not like each other at all. And now, she is one of my best friends-as well as her whole family. And my friendship with Aimee led to my friendship with her brother Ryan as well as David Young. My late night conversations with these two guys led to so much theological growth on my part and the Lord used them in profound ways in my life.
The fact that Caitlin Faulk dated Keith Bogart who was best friends with James Barber who went to UF when I was in high school. This meant many trips up to UF and many opportunities to fall in love with Gainesville and to become desirous of going to school here.
All of these things have led me to where I am at...there is no possible way that these events are random happenings. There is no way that these are coincidences. These are the events of my life that have been sovereignly ordained by a sovereign God to give me the theological background I have, in the church that I am in, in the city in which I live-exactly where he wants me to be so that I may serve Him here.
But it is not just big things in my life that cause me to stand in awe at the sovereignty of God. I say this in all seriousness-I can see the sovereignty of God in Florida Gators football.
Stop Laughing! I'm serious! So many crazy things had to happen in order for the Gators to get to the National Championship. Let me explain:
1. The Florida Gators spent the first 3 weeks at number 7. After week 3, we jumped to number 5 because we beat Tennessee and # 2 Notre Dame lost to #11 Michigan.
2. Until week 7, the order of undefeated teams was: Ohio State, Auburn, USC, West Virginia, & Florida. At week 7, Florida beat LSU and jumped to #2. The same five teams were still undefeated and in the top five, the order was just a little changed.
3. At week 8, BCS Standings came out. Florida lost to Auburn 27-17 on the road. The other top 5 teams remained undefeated. There are now only 4 undefeated teams on the road to the National Championship and Florida is #6 in the BCS.
4. In week 10, the next undefeated team fell. USC lost to unranked Oregon State! Florida moves to #4 in the BCS. There are only 3 undefeated National Championship contending teams remaining.
5. Week 11 saw the beginning of the destruction of the Big East. West Virginia lost to Louisville. The Big East emphasis has now switched to either Louisville and Rutgers who are both still undefeated. Florida stays at #4. In front of us are undefeated Louisville now, and Michigan and Ohio State. Texas and Auburn both have one loss (Texas to Ohio State and Auburn to Arkansas).
6. In week 12, Texas loses to unranked Kansas State. Auburn lost to Georgia AT HOME! Louisville loses to Rutgers as the Big East continues to implode. Florida stays at #4.
7. In week 13, USC jumped to #3 and Ohio State and Michigan didn't change. Florida stayed at #4.
8. In week 14, Michigan lost to Ohio State so they dropped to #3. USC moved to #2. Florida stayed at #4.
9. In week 15, USC famously lost to the UNRANKED Bruins!!! We beat Arkansas for the SEC Championship!
That my friends, is how the BCS (and AP rankings for the first 7 weeks). How did the Gators manage to win all their games?
1. In order to beat Tennessee, Florida came back from a 17-7 deficit at Tennessee.
2. In order to beat Alabama, Florida had to come back from a 10-0 deficit at the beginning of the 2nd quarter. Late in the second quarter, Christ Leak, the non-running Florida quarterback, ran for 45 yards down to the Alabama third yard line.
3. In order to beat LSU, Tim Tebow actually THREW his first 2 touchdown passes, and the UF defense racked up 3 interceptions, recovered 2 fumbles, and scored a safety. This is also the game with Tebow's basketball style pump pass to Tate Casey.
4. In order to beat Vanderbilt, Christ Leak RAN (yes RAN) for 2 touchdowns and Florida blocked 2 punts. We also had a messed up snap and the holder threw to Tate Casey for a 2 point conversion.
5. In order to beat South Carolina, Jarvis Moss blocked a 48 yard field goal attempt. This was Moss's 2nd blocked kick that night.
We didn't have an easy Big 10 schedule. We had the toughest schedule in college football this season-I think all would agree to that. We didn't beat every team by 20 points or more the way Ohio State did.
We often barely squeaked out a win. We often got "lucky" as other teams fell to unranked teams. I won't argue with that. But I will argue with the statement that we just lucked ourselves into the National Championship. With all the mishaps and special team scoring and Christ Leak RUSHING and Tim Tebow stiff arming and all the other teams losing....it's not a coincidence. In order for Florida to get to the National Championship, so many things had to just go right. So many things had to be sovereign.
It didn't just happen. God ordained it. Why? Why us and not Michigan? Honestly, I think one reason is Billy Latsko. Billy and his family all go to my church here in Gainesville. Billy walked on to the team in 2002 and was awarded a scholarship in 2004. I think the Lord has heard the prayers of the Latsko family (and the Tebow family). I think that Lord is blessing these two young men and their team. I'm sure there are other reasons for it. But I would bet blessing Billy has a lot to do with it.
God is sovereign. Just look at the Gators journey to the BCS National Championship!