I like having my ducks in a row.
But sometimes I can’t even find all my ducks.
I like knowing The Plan — what the goal is and how we’re going to get there, a neat and direct road map.
But sometimes I feel as though I have no idea where I’m headed and I’m just hacking my way through the thick underbrush.
I like lists. Even more, I like scratching things off my list. Knowing I’ve accomplished and I’ve progressed.
But sometimes all I can see is that I’ve taken two baby steps forward and five giant steps backwards.
I have been reminded constantly this week that God uses everything in our lives for our good. “Every crumb,” someone else wrote.* Yes, even the evil meant to harm us. The weakness that frustrates us. The failure that we lament. The thorns in our lives that we think limit our growth or our ministry and we wish God would remove. Those thorns in our lives are often our own shortcomings, the areas in which we are weakest, or wounds that do not seem to be heal.
C. S. Lewis wrote, “Be sure that the ins and outs of your individuality are no mystery to Him; and one day they will no longer be a mystery to you.”**
I would like to add that the mysteries of our lives — the whys and the why-nots are no mystery to our Father. He is working through all of it, even though we feel as though all we get done some days is hack through a few more inches of underbrush. God has a much bigger view of what is happening to us on those days.
These two Scriptures are so familiar that I fear the words often flow in one ear and out the other, and the heartbeat of God found here never has a chance to settle into our brains and then reverberate into every part of our souls. As you think about these words today, ask God to hear His heartbeat of love for you.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28).
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago (Ephesians 2:10).
* I am sorry that I cannot remember where I read this. If that Someone Else was you, please know that your words were part of God’s message to me this week. Thank you.
** From The Problem of Pain