The day before my oral defense for my doctorate degree, I sat in my advisor’s office, basking in her glowing feedback about my dissertation. But she concluded her compliments with the statement, “I just hope you pass the defense.” I was stunned! If my work was so commendable, why the looming possibility of failure?
My advisor explained that a recent clash of egos on the dissertation committee could prevent my completing the program. She feared I would be caught in the middle of the dispute, each side trying to prove the other wrong by attacking my research. Just to give an idea of how dire the situation seemed, she asked if my parents could attend the defense because sometimes professors “didn’t go for the jugular” when parents were present. With failure now looming as a possible outcome, I had to decide—who was in control of this situation, feuding academics or God?
We’ve all likely been in situations where it seems some other power is challenging the omnipotence of God, good. Personality clashes, sickness, accidents—any kind of inharmony—claim to be disruptive forces that can overmaster God. But in the face of fear or dismay, we can have a calm confidence in the power of God, and we can refute these aggressive suggestions of chaos and panic with the expectation of healing. We can know that God is already omnipotent and supreme, and there is nothing that can ever change that fact.
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