In Romans 8:28, a verse worth memorizing, Paul says that “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” And many, if not most of us, would give at least mental assent to this concept. Yet we often struggle with the thought of whether an event is “good” or “bad,” whether we view an event as “positive” or negative.” Thus, if an event “picks us up,” we say it is good. But, if that event “knocks us down” we say it is bad.
Now, when we put that thought together with the promise we find in Hebrews 13:5 where God says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” how can we say that something that happens to us is bad? In other words, if God is always with us and is “causing all things to work together for good,” how can anything be “bad?”
Case in point: last November 20, my grandson Zac dove into the ocean near his home in Brooking, Oregon, broke his C3 and C4 vertebrae and was instantly paralyzed from his chest down. You say, “That was bad.” But wait. That very morning, before going to the beach, he and his friend Daniel had prayed together that God would use them to be a witness for Jesus. And even as Zac was being carried off the beach, he declared to his rescuers that “I know I’m right where God wants me to be.” And Zac has continued to give God all the glory. He has constantly shared his faith with his doctors and caregivers in the hospital. God has turned what we might think was bad into something good because Zac accepted God’s will for his life. To Zac, the injury to his back (he says it was an injury, not an accident) was God’s answer to the prayer he and Daniel had prayed that morning. My prayer is that I can respond to life’s challenges—in the same way as Zac did, and see the good that God is working in my life to them as opportunities to glorify Him.
Pastor Marion Knoll