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All Things

“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭28‬ ‭NRSV‬‬

Have you noticed that we like to think about the totality of something yet also want to dissect it? For example, we all inhabit bodies, and while our physical forms may differ, they are roughly the same. Even our innards are approximately the same. But our bodies are more than a physical shell holding our stuff inside; we are also thinking, emotional, and spiritual beings. Most of our lives are spent exploring and understanding our mind+body+soul–the totality of who we are. When we experience things that create an imbalance, we seek to bring things back into alignment.

Sometimes, though, we can’t make sense of the individual components of the all. When we say, “all things work together for good for those who love God,” what does that mean? In our lives, bad things happen; sometimes, they may be consequences of actions. For example, if I drink alcohol heavily for several years, there’s a good chance my liver will fail. But sometimes, the things that happen are outside our control–they are simply life. We get sick, lose jobs, and people we love pass. These aren’t desired and aren’t punishments from God, but they are part of our regular life. Fortunately, along with the unfortunate and unwanted, many good things happen; we make friends, form families, celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and career advancements.

How does God take all the sad and happy events in our lives and work them together for good? We desperately want to make sense of each event in isolation. At times, especially the bad ones, we can’t see how these things could possibly work together for our betterment. Looking back later, we may gain a perspective, but often we fail to make the connections even then. It only makes sense when we accept on faith what God promised is true–He will work all things together for good.

We can do this because we have responded to God’s grace. In accepting his invitation, we become his children, his beloved. He forgives all our sins, those things done intentionally and unintentionally, but also takes the apparently random life events–good and bad–and creates something new and beautiful from them. He is continually molding us with each new day. We don’t know the how, that remains a mystery, but we know the why–God loves us.

Loving Parent God, thank you for taking our sins and the random life events and working them together for our good. We confess we often don’t understand the why of our lives, and sometimes, our faith is challenged. Help us to be content in not understanding, but remember your constant love and promise that you will never leave or forsake us.


Pastor Tim

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