I know, I know, I know.... this verse is so cliche! Everyone knows it and it has become part of our Christianese! Listen to a Christian speak long enough and you'll be sure to hear the "all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose". A little while ago, I was doing one of those BibleGateway reading plans, and although I don't remember the theme of the plan, I do know that Romans 8 was one of the required readings. So, as I began reading, the all too familiar verses were ringing true and honestly, I began glazing over it. After all, I know these verses already. Right?
Well, to say I was glazing over it is a bit unfair. For years, I only read the King James Version (KJV), even though it is always strongly suggested to study the Bible with a couple of versions open as reference. Still, eh, I am a creature of habit. This time, though, I was reading the New American Standard Version (NASB) which I've come to LOVE. Anyway, I was noticing subtle word changes, but it wasn't until I got to verse 28 that my oooo's and ahhhh's took place!
"And we know that God causes all things to work together...." Now, I realize you guys are reading this and waiting for the punchline!....awkward silence....uh that was it. Now, bear with me. Just the day before, the verse about the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord, was on my mind. These verses read perfectly together (in my mind at least). Being in the ministry, we come across so many people. We've been called by God to do a certain job. So our lives revolve around the people that God calls us to be around. We've grown to love so many people and have adopted some of them into our family. Then there are those who seem to thrive on negativity and.... and drama! So, there were so many times, when I couldn't help but feel discouraged with what God wanted us to do. Have you ever felt like you were trying to do something good, but it seemed like EVERYONE who surrounded you were waiting for you to fail? Now, I know very well that EVERYONE didn't feel that way (at least not all the time). But when a lot of people feel one way, you just tend to think that. There were so many "Woe is ME!!!" prayers...knowing VERY well how stupid I sounded it just felt great to complain to God.
Now you know my state of mind, let's go back to the verse. God causes....so God, are you saying YOU DID this to me?! Oh, I see.... you did this for me. That is so comforting because in the end, what he "caused" was a blessing for me! They really were/are! It's one thing to say it, and another to really believe it. The steps of a righteous man are ordered and established by the Lord. One step at a time, He is orchestrating my life. At times it is so scary and He continues to move me outside of my comfort zone....I mean really CONTINUES. So what is done to me is being done for me. How personal is that? I love it!
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