When you experience difficult times in life, it’s really hard not to ask “why” – even when you trust that God has a plan. I think it’s just in our human nature to want answers. Or maybe it’s just in my nature! I pray often that God will forgive me for my unbelief and doubt, but there’s a part of me that just wants to be mad at someone. I started thinking this is all Satan’s fault. Maybe he is responsible for all the terrible things that happen in this world we live in, including the sickness and death that Andrew experienced.
However, I had a great conversation with a very wise and godly man. He reminded me that “we are always dealing with God … whether its sickness or suffering or pain or even death … none of it would have come into our lives had God not ordained it” (Genesis 50:20, Job 1, John 19:10-11, Acts 2:22-23, Romans 11:36, Ephesians 1:11). While my human brain can’t understand it, God brings his plan to pass in a way that can sometimes include bad things without being responsible in the sense of it being his “fault”.
The verse that I continue to contemplate on a daily basis is Romans 8:28 – ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ My definition of good is probably a little different from God’s. When I think of “good” I think of happiness rather than despair, comfort rather than pain, peace rather than distress.
Verse 28 is typically where I stop, but our conversation led to reading further into verse 29 – ‘For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.’ It was pointed out that we are all being made to be more like Jesus. I was reminded that the moment Andrew took his last breath he became exactly like Jesus.
“Good” is being like Jesus – not being perfectly satisfied and comfortable with our lives here on this earth. I love this quote from my wise counselor, Charley Chase, “To get us to the place God wants us to be, he brings us through the places we don’t want to be.”
I am praying God will continue to conform me to the image of Jesus and feel confident that the difficult times we all face is one of the ways that God accomplishes this in us.