Or is it that everything was going really really great for you and then suddenly:
- The washing machine broke down and you hadn’t catered for spending money on a new one
- You got sick and really never thought about how life would be if you got severely ill
- Your computer, without any pomp or pageantry, just would not boot up and of course you never thought that this would happen to you so you don’t have ANY files backed up
Life could sometimes whirl out of whack leaving us feeling bewildered and scared.
Lately I’ve had my fair share of life’s curve balls and have had to try to make sense of why – and why now. However I’ve always said that if you want to go mad – ask why. You could never make sense of anything when you try to get behind the why. The answers are never forthcoming and you just find yourself going back to ‘base why’ without satisfaction!
And then I came across a book called “The Promise” by Robert J. Morgan exploring Roman’s 8 vs 28 – “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God; those who are called according to His purpose.” Throughout he told story after story where people experienced something that at first didn’t make sense but eventually did, with time. Soren Kierkegaard – Danish philosopher and writer famously that “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.” Or in less poetic terms – hindsight is always 20-20.
I started to look at that little three letter word a-l-l with a different mindset. All meant ALL. Not some things but ALL things. Not some things, a few things, a lot of things, select things, good things, bad things, sad things, funny things but ALL things.
One of my favorite stories in “The Promise” was that of Fanny Crosby. She was blinded when she was six weeks old through the malpractice of a doctor. Her mother anguished for years about this, but she also consoled Fanny as the child grew up telling her that sometimes the Lord permits one of His children to go without the sense of sight or hearing in order for the child to develop other senses more fully and so fulfill God’s purpose in life. So Fanny developed a phenomenal memory, learning much of the Bible by heart. Out of this treasury came a torrent of hymns and gospel songs unequalled in Christian history.
Writing about this in 1903 Fanny said:
“The poor doctor who had spoiled my eyes soon disappeared from the neighborhood and we never heard any more about him. He is probably dead, before this time; but if I could ever meet him, I would tell him that unwittingly he did me the greatest favor in the world. Why would I not have that doctor’s mistake – if a mistake it was – remedied? Well, there are many reasons: and I will tell you some of them.
One is that I know although it may have been a blunder on the physician’s part, it was no mistake of God’s. I verily believe it was His intention that I should live my days in physical darkness, so as to be better prepared to sing His praises and incite others so to do. I could not have written thousands of hymns – many of which, if you will pardon me for repeating it, are sung all over the world – if I had been hindered by the distractions of seeing all the interesting and beautiful objects that would have been presented to my notice.”
I know that I certainly don’t have Fanny’s faith. I’m not sure that if I were to lose my sight right now that I would have the patience to see what good was to come out of it. What I do know for sure is that things happen to us – what we interpret as bad and what we interpret as good. Sometimes the good isn’t necessarily good FOR us and sometimes the bad isn’t detrimental.
Just as I was about to write this article, I saw an episode of ‘The Talk’ on CBS featuring Tyler Perry. In my own life – whenever there is a message of significance – I usually have it repeated to me – more than once – via various sources. And there it was – coming out of Tyler Perry’s mouth the words “The Bible says that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. I believe that. Because I’ve seen it all work. I know for a fact if I had not been born to this mother, this father, this family, if I had not been born into this situation, then I wouldn’t be here using my voice and my gifts to speak to millions of people.”
I don’t think that we need to try to understand life because most times it’s incomprehensible. I don’t believe that when bad things happen that we should pretend that they are not a terrible blow to our souls. What I’m beginning to realize is that true faith is made up of rallying though and placing hope and trust in your God – whoever that might be for you and always remembering that just because we can’t see the sun on a cloudy day doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Keep the faith – everything is gonna be alright!
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