For the last few weeks, I’ve been reading through Genesis. God is quite awesome in all of the stories I read there, and I’ve been learning so much. The biggest constant that I see everywhere is also what I’ve been struggling with in life. When things go wrong, God’s got it under control. Things always work out according to his plan. When Ishmael was born without that being God’s promised child and Ishmael’s mother hated by Sarah, God made Ishmael great and his life mean something. One of his daughters even married Esau, Isaac’s son. After the betrayal and fall-out between Esau and Jacob, Esau welcomes his brother on good terms again, even though Jacob fears the worst (and why does he fear? God is obviously in control). When Joseph, Jacob’s favorite of his sons, is sold into slavery by his brothers, he goes on to achieve greatness. When things seem to be going wrong in every way possible, God whispers, “It’s not going to be all bad. Just trust me. Good will come from it.”
Lately, I feel as if tons of things seem to be going wrong. I’m a type-A in denial, though I’m not as bad as I used to be. Okay, so maybe not AS much better as I think I am, but there’s gotta be improvement there (I HAVE been working on it). So many things that seem to go wrong in our everyday lives either aren’t important or have a different purpose. I have found in this last semester that whenever I’m in a bad mood, I need to get my eyes up off of me and onto eternal things, onto God. In Genesis, Abraham didn’t even SEE what God was going to do that was started in Abraham. Jacob was given Leah in marriage instead of Rachel, but both women became the mothers of nations. Even though Joseph was sold by his brothers, his attitude was adjusted and God was with him wherever he went. He helped out so many more people than he could have from shepherding flocks for his father his whole life. He saved a nation from starvation! Genesis alone has tons of examples of things working out according to God’s plan, and that’s just the first book of the Old Testament! The rest of the Word is FILLED with stories of God’s perfect plan, giving US here and now evidence that He is faithful! (Gah! It just gets me so excited!)
I am so gosh darn blessed for what I have and what I’ve been given in my life. I have an awesome family and awesome friends. I do have Multiple Sclerosis, and it sucks. But given that, I can do so much more than I could do without it (I don’t know what yet…still working on that part). I have no idea where I’ll go in the next season of my life, but God is with me, and I TRUST him. (For those of you who’ve been reading my posts for a while, you may see that this has been a theme, and it’s kind of a big deal for me to completely trust in God with my all, even though it’s something he wants from each of us every day. It’s taken a while, and I still battle, but my faith and trust are his.) Bad things that happen to us or go wrong in our lives make us who we are today, even though it TOTALLY doesn’t feel like it. Remember, these things don’t define us, but they add to our character.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5)
So many things that bother me are really temporal, and good DOES and HAS come from the things that have passed. And the thing that haven’t? Well, I simply have to trust and pray that those things work out, as well. Even if I can’t see it, in the bigger picture, I believe that all things work out for the best.
I hope you can keep the line of my thoughts connected, as sometimes they go a lot faster than I can write. Where have you seen God take something bad that has happened in your life and used it for good?