I have seen God do amazing things.
Over the course of the past year and a half, His hand of mercy has been at the helm of my life, guiding my family through some of the stormiest seas that I’ve ever had to navigate through.
When my daughter Elizabeth passed away May 2015, it shook the very foundations of our collective family faith.
My personal faith and belief was certainly shaken to the very core. How could God allow such an awful and horrific thing to happen to my little girl, my family and I?
Through all the many questions and gut wrenching pain, I kept coming back to the scripture Romans 8:28 where it says:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I’ve heard this scripture a thousand times. It is probably one of the most quoted verses next to John 3:16 and Hebrews 11:1.
In fact, Romans 8:28 is used so much, it has almost become cliché in the proverbial ‘Christian Quotable Quotes Dictionary’, right next to “Footprints” and “The Serenity Prayer”.
In light of the harsh reality I was living, I wanted more than a feel good quote; what I was (and have been) walking through is not some stuck with a flat tire, tooth ache level trial.
I’m talking about a burn to the core, the very life torn out of you type of pain. A pain that hurts so deeply that your soul literally feels like it has been drained of all hope.
This is when I came to really look deeper and more intentionally at Romans 8:28, through a new lens. I wanted to understand and not just quote the scripture. My driving question to God was “Show me the good…where have You been?”
I read it over and over and over again. I would speak the scripture out loud: during my devotional time, in my prayers to The Father and even when I was driving to and from work.
Suddenly one day, the words became alive and clarity formed around them. I started to reflect on all the surrounding circumstances of prior to Elizabeth’s passing and after. Certain critical and key events flashed across my mind as my spirit was bearing witness with Heaven; I was connecting dots that I had never seen before.
As I looked back on the rear view mirror of our lives, through tears of comfort and joy, I could see that my Father, the Almighty God, had made divine connections the entire time.
I was remembering events that, while unfolding in their present tense, did not seem to have any consequential significance, but all of a sudden these same events made perfect sense and had laser-beam focused purpose behind them…I started to see the breathtaking intelligent design that transcended my understanding of events, space and time.
The deeper and further I looked, the more I noticed that every encounter, interaction and event was deliberately and intentionally utilized for the purpose of both promoting God’s good and perfect will in my life. Yes, every single one of them.
Even events, encounters and circumstances that were a direct result of a mistake or poor choice on my part, God took and orchestrated for His grand and ultimate purposes…for my good and for His Glory and Kingdom. But how? Even the mistakes? He can use those too?
Yes…even the mistakes…He uses those too. But there is a key; a critical component to God using our mistakes for our good and His Glory.
Humility combined with obedience. The Lord loves and honors a contrite and repentant heart.
As God was opening my eyes and showing me how He precisely orchestrates every action, I was beginning to find a serenity and peace, in spite of the storm that raged against my soul.
I was slowly beginning to realize and see the divine handwork that is at the core of every step I take.
Eventually the powerful and profound magnitude of Romans 8:28 came into crystal clear focus. With each deliberate and intentional reflection upon past events and circumstances, I began to appreciate God’s awesome wisdom and sovereignty.
I am convinced that every single action, encounter, engagement and occurrence on the human stage is not only observed by God; but in fact, through His divine intelligence, God has already threaded all of those events through the cosmic tapestry for the dual purpose of His Glory and our individual good.
Nothing is by accident; including how all things for work for our good.
It is because we love Him and are called by Him. God doesn’t just let life happen to us as His children; He works in and through all of it…the good and the bad. Times of fire, storm and pain are ultimately used by our Father for our good and His Glory.
I know, I’ve said that before, but I want to really drive that point home.
Romans 8:28 is not some feel-good, cheap commercial tag line to help Heaven to meet its sales quota for the month; nor was it written to be relegated as a poem written on pastel colored stationary for the Sunday church bulletin.
It is a succinct, but powerfully clear, explanation and promise about how our Father God transcends temporal space and time for the benefit for us His Children, for His Glory and for the Furtherance of His Kingdom.
This scripture captures the raw mechanical essence of God’s perfect will and highest intelligence which weaves even the tiniest detail of every action into His plan and purpose. It shows that we can trust and have faith, in spite of what the present tense looks like.
It compels and urges us as believers, to look beyond the scope of time and it gives us a glimpse into how the realm of eternity is so much larger than our physical plane.
It echo’s what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:10
“…Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven…”
Do you love God?
Are you called by Him?
Have you been saved?
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then rest, trust and believe…God is working every detail of every circumstance, encounter and situation for your good…and for His Glory and Kingdom.