Rt, Ken Ford teaching in Egypt Sept. 2023 at IM’s Pastors’ Conference, Hani translating

Most tend to find symmetry pleasing due to the fact that it is so prevalent in nature. We associate symmetry and balance with good health, pleasant appearance. Take for example a butterfly with one damaged wing…it is problematic, dysfunctional and unbalanced. Asymmetry often signals danger or illness.

In a recent trip, I had the opportunity to view relics from antiquity. They were heavily guarded. Those around me sensed the pain I experienced as I noticed an ancient portrait hanging slightly crooked on the wall. I desperately desired to ‘fix’ it for the good of all but chose rather to heed the sufficient reminders to not touch anything.

Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 7:13 ‘Consider the work of God, who can make straight what He has made crooked.’ Our normal desire is to remove what is uncomfortable or inconvenient from our lives, neglecting to realize God is sovereign and He brings situations, even calamity (Isaiah 45:7) into our lives for His glory and our good. Knowing God enables me to trust Him even when it hurts because I would rather trust His hand than any other, His wisdom over my limited insight and His ways above mine. When we look beyond our personal obstacles, we observe countless situations that appear crooked, difficult and disagreeable touching people in all parts of the world. We raise the question; why is this the way it is? Why did this happen? Then we nurture an urgent desire to straighten what is crooked. After all, we are called to shine His light into the darkness. For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.(2 Cor. 4:6) Why so many obstacles?

Political winds constantly change, religious motivations confuse, human wickedness and financial limitations as well as the enemy of all, the devil himself, all seek to hinder the good work. Due to the apparent success of the evil one in so many areas, our prayer list grows like weeds in summer.

For one who finds symmetry and balance desirable, I am struck by this thought: God has no equal. There is none to which He can be compared. The weight of His glory has no match. The conflict seems clear; light vs. darkness, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong and many add God vs. the devil assuming like the rest— they are opposing equals, but God has no equal. All creation, including Satan and his demons, are finite, limited—God is infinite.

Man in pride does what he wishes and assumes he is getting away with it, he claims accomplishment of his plans and efforts, yet God remains sovereign. God’s sovereignty is not infringed, derailed, harmed or hindered in any way by man’s valiant efforts to do as he chooses. Why doesn’t God simply eliminate all the hardships and situations we find to be crooked, troublesome? As we encounter suffering and hardship across the globe that makes our hearts hurt and our hands quick to serve, we may wonder if it matters, if victory is possible.

If all is equal, what hope do we have of making a positive difference in the lives of the precious people we seek to serve? However: it is not a contest of closely matched opponents who each win some days and lose others. God stands alone, with no equal—none even close! God has no equal and the sum total of all powers of hell together are no match for Him. He is eternally sovereign.

A proper understanding of God and His sovereign power and wisdom offers hope and purpose as we continue to serve, seeking to shine the light of Christ into the darkness. When the task seems overwhelming and the opposition brings frustration, God stands far above all. There is no greater privilege than to serve the sovereign God, knowing what is impossible for man is possible with Him

Thank you for joining with Indigenous Ministries as together we see God do far beyond what we could imagine. As God continues to lead us forward, we serve joyfully, finding strength and courage in the imbalance that God has no equal. It is humbling to consider that this great God chooses to use normal people like you and me. Thank you for being a such a valuable asset to this ministry as we see God powerfully working all things for His ultimate glory and our eternal good.

Contributed by Pastor Ken Ford, Alton Bible Church, Michigan and Indigenous Ministries Board Member