It’s easy to say that God had a plan when my sister and I landed the role of Baby Grace. Good showing up is always easy, like when I met my husband Josh, or when this grammatically challenged girl had the hair-brain idea to write a book. A publisher taking a chance on me was definitely God’s plan.
You probably don’t have any problem giving God the credit for the good that shows up in your life either. After all, his plans are for good. Right?
But what happens when the “good” is nowhere to be found? When jobs are lost, fires burn up everything you ever owned, or cancer steps into a family uninvited. Where’s the good and how could any of these situations be considered even somewhat good?
The overly used verse in Romans 8 has stumped me during the hard times of my life.
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.Romans 8:28
I didn’t quite understand until I woke up from brain surgery. Good didn’t describe what I was going through, but for some reason the whole thing was good, I might even dare to say, glorious. I realized the key to this verse was the last bit—”according to his purpose.” And what exactly is God’s purpose?
We only need to keep reading to find out.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.Romans 8:29
Did you catch it? I’m no theologian and I’m figuring you aren’t either. What I see is a bunch of big words followed by “to be conformed to the image of his Son.” So all things become good when we are made more like Jesus. That’s the purpose Paul was talking about, that’s the definition of good? Counter-cultural for sure.
I know it might not make sense, but the hardest times in my life have put me on a path to becoming just a little bit more like Jesus. More loving, more accepting, more forgiving. More humble, more quiet, more intentional. More grace for others and more grace for myself. These are the “good” things He wants for me.
When I look back to my surgery, more than anything I’m grateful. Grateful that God gave me the opportunity to become more like Him. It wasn’t easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
So whether you find yourself in the easy-good or the hard-good, it’s all going to be okay because God has a plan for your life. All things work together for good. Even when the good doesn’t look anything like good, eventually it becomes good.
It’s meant to be.
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