One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 8:28: “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called accordingly to his purpose.” (NIV) I remember hearing a story once about a black minister, who had suffered through the civil rights movement of the 1960s as a young man and watched his friends and family killed and maimed as they marched with leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. Many years later, this minister was waiting in line to meet President Barack Obama. When questioned about how he was feeling at that moment, waiting to shake the hand of the first black president of the United States, his only response was, “Romans 8:28.” His response took my breath away.
The suffering of the people who fought for civil rights throughout the history of this country is truly beyond anything I can imagine. For this minister to have related all that suffering into one simple statement written thousands of years ago is amazing. The verse obviously still applies in today’s world; yet there are times when the ability of those who have faith to recognize the goodness God manufactures out of all things becomes something others just cannot fathom.
It has taken many years for me to find my way to a true understanding of Romans 8:28. It was not easy to dig up the resentments and hurts of my past, learn to accept the reality of my life, and work to forgive everyone and everything that I have ever blamed for the way things turned out for me. I needed a whole lot of help and guidance to realize that while I would not want to go back and relive any of it, there is nothing that I would change from my past. You see, all of it – ALL OF IT – has molded me into the person I am today. God has used every single moment to fulfill His purpose in me. And, He continues to use everything that happens to fulfill His purpose in me. I may never be able to see it, but I trust with each thing – cancer, addiction, abuse, and even the waiting…waiting…waiting for dreams to be fulfilled – He is manufacturing His purpose in me.
Knowing this has given me a glimpse into the beauty of His plan, His grace, His mercy within the lives of all others. I believe He will use it all – the bombings, the death, the war, the fighting – for His purpose. I may never be able to see it fulfilled; but I do believe it is all for the best.
Great message and reminder that God’s time is God’s time….and He turns to good all things…in His time (not my time.). God, pleare help me to know and do your will and to live Your way today. Thanks for sharing your message!
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This verse is also one of my favorite, Jessica. Beautiful blog.
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