per•mu•ta'•tion, noun, a way, esp., one of several possible variations, in which a set or number of things can be ordered or arranged.
I think about arrangements these days because we have four teens in the house. It is a remarkable thing how many different combinations of people, events, modes of transportation, and crises can develop in such a situation.  From the most recent National Review magazine (Aug 13), I learned that the game of checkers has succumbed, after 18 years and hundreds of computers whirring away at the University of Alberta. Chinook, the program they developed, has been trained to give the best possible response to any one of the—hold on to your checkerboard—500 billion billion possible board positions! So schools of higher learning have come to this.

This brings me to my point. You know what happens as family connections grow. The more people who have input regarding a particular event, the more likely compromises will have to be made. Decisions are made either by seeking the best possible arrangement for the most number of people (most of your relatives live near such-and-such a park where the reunion is to be held), by deferring benefit to another event (we'll have Christmas at my house and Thanksgiving at yours), or by superior fiat (we're going to my mother's this year, and that's that!).

Imagine what it must be in the divine throne room as the Lord looks down on more than six billion souls, each with a will, and each with a determined tendency to veer off the path. Add to that the evil counsels of the infernal forces, natural calamities, wars, deaths, and every other seemingly contrary event. Yet somehow, in spite of human failure, rebellion, and demonic sabotage, the will of God is actually accomplished. And not only in some general way, but as Paul would write concerning believers, "All things work together for good to those that love God" (Rom. 8:28).

What rest there is in the sovereignty of God, not because He somehow micromanages every move. Rather the wonder of it is this: having giving freedom (albeit limited) both to man and demon, when both have done what seems almost always opposite to what God wants, God's will is still done. The cross—with the devil's entrance into Judas and his subsequent betrayal, the Sanhedrin's scheming, and the Romans' kangaroo court—ultimately accomplished the will of God.

God's sovereignty does not mean He bullies His creations, but that He has found sublime ways to overcome man's stupidity to bring blessing to us in spite of ourselves.