I can’t tell you how many times I have quoted that verse to someone else. If you know me in real life, I’ve probably quoted it to you. I might even go so far as to say it’s the verse I quote more than any other. But, I’ll be honest and tell you right now, most of the time, it was probably spoken a bit half-heartedly.
“Your car broke down and didn’t make it to the party? Well, you know all things work together for good. Maybe you would have been in a wreck had you gone.”
“I’m so sorry your husband lost his job. God tells us that all things work together for good. He’s probably going to get a better job!”
It’s pretty easy to believe that all things work together for good in incidences such as these. But what about when. . .
. . . your baby is born still?
. . . your 3-year-old is diagnosed with cancer?
. . . your Mom dies suddenly?
. . . your husband is unemployed for over a year?
. . . you’re diagnosed with a life-altering auto-immune disease that causes chronic pain?
. . . your 16-year-old son’s girlfriend becomes pregnant?
. . . you’re the subject of gossip?
. . . your well-discipled, much-loved, homeschooled 19-year-old daughter tells you she is an atheist?
. . . you find out you can never conceive?
. . . your much longed-for child is diagnosed with ADHD after years of behavior you never imagined coming from that sweet little newborn?
. . . your husband has an affair?
. . . you have an affair?
. . . your only car is totaled by an uninsured driver?
. . . your house is in foreclosure?
Do you believe that all things work together for good then?
For many of you, some of these dire situations I just mentioned are going to hit home. A few of them do so for me. And as I read and pondered this one verse, after feeling very sorry for myself for several days, I had to ask myself the same question.
Do I believe that ALL THINGS work together for good?
Do I really believe that this disease is representative of ALL THINGS?
I’ll be honest and say that I’m not sure I’m there. It’s God’s Word, and I believe it to be TRUTH. But the question that haunts me is this:
For what purpose am I called when I can barely get out of bed? Because there has to be one, right?
Do I honestly believe that ALL THINGS can and will be redeemed?
And I wonder . . . am I living a life that exemplifies that I believe ALL THINGS work together for good?
And to take it a step further, am I looking for opportunities for ALL THINGS about my life — good and bad, easy and difficult, happy and sad, encouraging and angering, fulfilling and frustrating — to glorify Him?
Because if I truly believe that Romans 8:28 is complete truth, I think I would be. Or should be. Or must.
And I am reminded of a man desperate for the healing of his child. And I cry out with him . . .
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
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