Thursday, April 4, 2013
While listening to the radio this morning I heard the hosts talking about Kevin Ware (the Louisville basketball player who broke his leg during the game last weekend - in case you've been living under a rock.) Evidently he told CNN in an interview, "This is all God. This is all God's plan. He would never let anything happen that He wouldn't want to happen. He controls everything. Without God there is no us. This is just another situation that is going to mature me and get me to a better mindset." .......Wow!
In the past two days I've read two chapters in two different books that have focused on the hope found in verse Romans 8:28. "We know that God causes all things to work together for good." I think that the 'coincidence' that I read these chapters and heard Kevin's interview in a matter of 24 hours may be God telling me that I need to meditate on this verse and just what it means.
ALL things. ALL people. ALL tragedies, disasters, trials, illnesses, sins. Every time a door is closed - every time we are removed from a wonderful experience, like Kevin Ware, and not allowed to continue. Every thing that happens to us and around us and by us - the big things, the small things, the good and the bad. He uses it all to bless us, make us more Christlike and to bring Himself glory. If we completely believe (have faith) "that God causes all things to work together for good" then we have hope. We have comfort. We can release bitterness and anger over our circumstances. We realize that our circumstances are not an accident --there is a purpose to what is happening to us and around us. We have a reason to 'let go and let God.' We don't have to know 'why' this is happening like this - but just that He is going to work all things together for good. He is for us, not against us. It may hurt...but He meets our needs by giving us strength to get through it.
Our whole outlook on life can change. For the positive. Instead of wondering why God allowed that person to consistently grumble about the negative and talk down to us at work..know that He has a plan. He will use this for good. He allowed this to happen. And, it might, just might...not be about us. Instead of groaning in frustration that our kids are sick again and all of the plans we had for the day will have to be rescheduled, we realize that it is part of God's plan to give us rest, our children attention and extra cuddle time. Instead of falling to pieces over the loss of a job, we know that He is using this situation to grow us and our family and He has plans for good for us. We also need to remember that how we react to these circumstances in our lives is how a lot of people form their opinions on what Christianity is about.
Sometimes, stuff happens that makes us just say 'why? Why would you do that? It's so awful. They want children so badly, God..why did you let another one of their babies die? They have already lost one house, why again? Children shouldn't have to die of cancer, God! In these why moments it looks like there is really no good to come out of it... This is when we have to acknowledge our humanness and humble ourselves...and fall back on faith...trust that even though we don't have any explanation as to 'why?' and we see no 'good in this situation' - God knows what He is doing (better than us) and He promises that He will cause all things to work together for good.
And so then, with renewed strength, we go on... And when the next thing comes into our lives that challenges us, we know we are exactly where we are supposed to be, God has us in the palm of His hand, and we look at it as an opportunity to grow our faith and relationship with God. And when CNN interviews us about our challenge, we say, 'this is just another situation that is going to mature me...this is all God's plan.'