So I was minding my own business, worshipping in church for the first time in weeks due to our travel schedule of late, and wham! Truth hits me right between the eyes. Ever had that happen to you?
We were singing “Your Love Never Fails” (video at the end of this post if you don’t know the song or just want to hear it again!) and there is a bridge part with the line “You make all things work together for my good” three or four times in a row. I sang, thinking yes, Lord, I know that is true. Then it occurred to me that my husband was standing beside me singing those same words. My daughter stood on the other side, also singing those words. That’s when truth struck: Romans 8:28 applies to all of us “who love God and are called according to His purpose” at the same time. God is working all things together for my good, and my husband’s good and my daughter’s good even when our experiences of the exact same situation are completely different–even opposite!
Read that again and think it through. A bit mind-blowing for me. I mean I knew it but I didn’t really know it.
Of course it makes much more sense when we know that the “good” that Paul speaks of in Romans 8:28 is defined by him in Romans 8: 29: For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.
God is using our circumstances to conform us to the image of Jesus. There is nothing higher for our good. So, for instance, when one of my quirks, or even my sin, makes my husband crazy, he can choose to respond to me like Christ–or not. And I can choose to ignore the fact that my quirk irritates him (or that my sin is sin) and go on my merry way or I can choose to respond like Christ and think of another person more highly than I think of myself (or repent of my sin). And the choices we each make in those moments gives the other another opportunity to live out the life of Christ within us. It’s that whole “iron sharpening iron” thing from Proverbs and yet with the realization that it is God holding the file that is doing the sharpening.
Cool, huh? Or maybe I’m just waaayyy behind. Like I said, something I knew but hadn’t intentionally thought all the way through.
(The song, as promised.)