Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
This first line of today’s epistle reading has been quoted to me often over the past few years by friends and advisors and teachers reminding me that God has allowed into the lives of those who believe suffering, confusion, doubt, chaos and distance for a reason and a season.
A reason and a season – God’s purpose and God’s time. We sin, we suffer, we doubt, we resent, we blame, we injure and this is supposed to be the stuff of ‘working together for good?’ Indeed. I have come to see these seasons as God’s behind the scenes work on and in me. For it is in such seasons believers can do nothing more at times than to rest in the assurance of His promise that all things work together for good – His good. His plan. His purpose.
How many times in your own valley have you wondered, “Really? Where are you God? Are you responsible for this mess or am I? Do you have me here for a reason? Can this mess I’m in be untangled and worked out for any good?”
What I hear the Spirit saying to me in Paul’s letter is
- God’s will be done, all for good in God’s time
- Only God sees and knows the whole picture
- God’s purpose for us includes seasons of despair, suffering, chaos, confusion and doubt; a reason and a season
And what I see is a tapestry. The image comes to mind often when I think of God’s will and plan and how it is exacted for good in God’s time – a piece of art that viewed from the front is complete, cohesive, beautiful, one image made of many, a big picture – the broad place – composed of particularities (threads).
Turn it over and you see God’s handiwork, the behind the scenes chaos of what is seemingly ordered. Here are the journeys – the broken threads, the disparate stitches – some crossing over others – the mix of colors and the messiness and tediousness of the work.
Threads of His making all woven together by His hand, for good, glorifying Him.
Lectionary Readings: AM Psalm 95* & 102; PM Psalm 107:1-32 Jer. 23:1-8; Rom. 8:28-39; John 6:52-59