~ C.S. Lewis
I thought of it again not long ago when a friend and I were discussing the “pat answers” people sometimes give to those going through hard times…
“Don’t worry; God is in control.”
“God is working everything out for good.”
“God will protect them.”
There is nothing wrong with those phrases. They are very true. And sometimes they are actually encouraging.:-) The trouble is, as some have experienced, despite the fact that they are *true*, there are times when they aren’t necessarily *comforting*…at least at first glance.
From childhood, one of my favorite verses was Romans 8:28:
As a child, I blithely believed that that verse meant that although I might be unhappy about the circumstances of the moment, God would give a happy ending. As I got older, I developed at least a head knowledge that those endings wouldn’t always necessarily be happy, although they would be good for us.
Three years ago this week, we encountered a situation that I couldn’t see as good in ANY way, shape, or form. After the initial shock subsided a bit, I began to argue with God…to throw verses about His sovereignty, His goodness, His protection, and His love back in His face. I struggled with everything I had ever been taught, with everything that three years ago *today* I would have said I believed with all my heart.
I still have a hard time labeling that situation as “good”. And yet, as I posted here, God has taught me all over again, in a much deeper, more certain way, that what His word says is TRUE…no matter how hard it is to understand sometimes. I have learned to see that what Satan intends for evil, God intends for good. (Gen. 50:20) I have learned that no matter HOW painful the situation, God’s plan is still “best” for us.
I can truly say that I am thankful for that “best” even when that “best” comes nowhere close to the “happy endings” I imagined as a child. I wouldn't give up the things God has taught me about Himself and His Word through this situation for anything. The deeper, more intimate relationship with Him...not only for us, but that we are beginning to see in our children...is worth all of the pain of the last three years.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this quote in the comments!
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