Tom Schreiner is a dear brother, friend, and colleague, and he and his family are walking a painful road right now. On Friday, Tom’s wife Dianne was in a serious bicycle accident that left her with a brain injury. The Southern Seminary community has been praying fervently for her, and there have been some encouraging signs. Yet the injury is still a very serious one, and the prognosis is still not certain. Please pray for Dianne, Tom, and the rest of the Schreiner family.
I was blessed beyond words to read what Tom and Dianne’s son Patrick Schreiner wrote today on his blog about the whole experience. This was the part that got me:
I cannot remember a time when I did not believe that God was in control of all things. It was, and is the air I breathe.
Trying to cope with the big questions of life in a tragedy like this without The Sovereign Solid Rock beneath my feet, seems to me like attemping to fly with no wings.
But at the same time, those who prayed with us did not pray as cold hardened accepters of fate.
Rather the earnest prayers of the saints were made in faith and hope that prayer can throw mountains in the sea. Joshua lifted his arms and the sun stood still, and we cried out to God to do the miraculous.
We all truly believe that our prayers can change the course of history.
It’s the air that he breathes because it’s what his momma and daddy taught him his whole life and because it’s what they are teaching him right now. It’s the same lesson that they’ve taught so many of us and that Tom has taught countless others through his prolific writings.
Our God is in the heavens, and He does whatever He pleases (Ps. 115:3). God does whatever He wills, and there is no one in heaven or earth that can stay His hand (Dan. 4:35). God’s overarching plan applies to both the mundane details and to the profound events of our lives. Not a single sparrow falls from the sky apart from the sovereign plan and foreordination of God, and you and I are worth more to God than many sparrows (Matt. 10:29-31).
The sovereignty of God matters. God sovereignly superintends what happens to us, even when we feel like our world is beginning to fall down around our ears. God is still directing all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11). We don’t have to be afraid or worry. God is in control no matter what, and that truth makes all the difference in the world in the midst of a tragedy like this one. I’m so grateful for that truth. And I’m so very grateful for Tom who has taught it and is teaching it now so clearly.
[On Romans 8:29] Even suffering and tribulation turn out for the good of the Christian. The idea expressed here cannot be compared to Stoicism or to a Pollyannaish view of life. The former is excluded by Paul’s creation theology, which posits that God as the Lord, creator, and personal governor of the world. The latter is a misunderstanding of the text, for the text does not say all things are intrinsically good or pleasant, but instead that the most agonizing sufferings and evils inflicted on believers will be turned to their good by God… By virtue of this promise believers know “now” that everything conspires to their good, and this knowledge fortifies them with courage in facing any situation. –Tom Schreiner, Romans, pp. 449-50
Read the rest of Patrick’s post here. It’s really good.
My pray is added. I do want to thank PJ and Tom for confirming that Jesus is Lord.
A very encouraging post in a world that often appears as if God is absent. He is not.
Thanks, very much.
The phrase that strikes me is “those that prayed with us did not pray as cold hearted accepters of fate.”
This is what drew me and continues to draw me to a solid, Reformed understanding of Scripture: the balance of God’s sovereignty with the means of prayer to both shape us and to move the heart of God to intervene for his people. I know both are true and both are seen in Scripture.
This blog post by Shreiner’s son is a reminder to me of why people of this generation are drawn toward a theology that reminds them of God’s sovereignty in the midst of chaos. People need hope that events are not random and chance, but that God is all loving and working out His purposes even in the midst of His people’s hurt and pain.
Thanks for the reminder.
I appreciate this blog… I wrote something similar on my blog awhile back. I look at the topic from an aerial view in Scripture. I thought you or your readers may like to read it.
I’ll say a prayer for this hurting family.