Sometimes things in our lives seem like a giant puzzle that we lost the boxtop from that goes with it, so that it is hard to figure out the puzzle. This is the analogy Pastor David Jeremiah uses in his book, "Captured by Grace." This is not a book review; it is a sharing of something that helped me today, and I hope it will help you.
The picture above is a puzzle of Romans 8:28, and the pieces are not quite all put
together and some seem to be missing. I was struggling with
the words "in all things God works for the good" - ALL things?
a lost job?
an ill child?
a struggling marriage?
death of a loved one?
chronic health problems?
You no doubt have your own list of bad things that
happen in your life or the lives of loved ones.
There is, of course, a GOOD list, but
my struggle is with the BAD stuff.
Dr. Jeremiah goes on to remind me that:
"God is, after all, sovereign...
He is God of ALL things...
and ALL things are usable within His plan."
When I think of the bad things that have happened in my life,
I eventually am able to see how God has used these things (the puzzle pieces finally fit together)
to make me a person who is stronger in my faith in Him, if I let Him.
I have a choice: I can continue to struggle with the bad stuff in my life,
or I can give them over to God and watch what He will do
in my life because of what I have been through.
And God, being the great I AM, will take the pieces of my life's puzzle
and put them together, and
"in the final picture, they will play a part that brings glory to God
and works for the good of the believer."
Sometimes "bad things remain bad things, but God remains good,
and He is the Lord of those bad things. He is fully capable of using those things
in ways that will shine with a beauty we will one day, either in this life or the next."
(The words in quotes are from Captured by Grace.)