So often it is used as a platitude, a patronization after a tragedy or unexpected misfortune. How often do we, in the moment, wonder why something happens the way it does, or why something occurs for which we can find no positive result?
Do you ever, after these things happen, look back later and see how God was working? Do you ever praise Him in the moment, knowing that the trials you face are serving to perfect you?
I could go on and on about struggles and hardships and how God works through them, but what has been on my heart lately is the less obvious things God does in our lives to work things out for our good.
How often do you notice, either at the time or later, God’s hand in the less obvious workings in your life?
Like a job change that may not have been what you wanted or expected, but later turns out to be a doorway to great blessings? Or the chance meeting of someone who later becomes a trusted friend or a contact who helps you along in some area of your life? An unexpected pregnancy that fills your home with love and joy or a Bible study or sermon that says exactly what you need to hear when you need to hear it?
I imagine that when the European settlers first came to these shores, when their numbers dwindled due to disease and countless other factors, when they met strange people whose customs they didn’t understand, they wondered what exactly God was preparing them for, yet next month we’ll be celebrating the memory of those circumstances as we prepare our turkey dinners and reflect on Thanksgiving.
I suspect Mary, when her pregnancy progressed and her betrothed prepared to divorce her, wondered what God’s plan was for her and her baby, yet the memory of her child’s birth is still being celebrated today.
I encourage you, as you go through the day-to-day, the mundane, the confusing, the difficult, as well as the blessings, that you consider each moment and each occurrence, whether good or bad or ambivalent, whether expected or a surprise, as another step God is using to put you in the place you’re supposed to be, turning into the person you’re supposed to be.