One of my bible study groups recently discussed faith and expecting the best from God. The “best” is certainly an interesting, subjective term; I have to come to understand and trust that “best” is what God defines for our lives not what we demand it to be. While it is difficult to fathom and accept at times, the concept that God’s plan always works out for the good, is one I have become much better at embracing.
Whenever I find myself confused, disillusioned, or frustrated with what is going on around me, I remind myself that God has a plan. In his plan, he promises me “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29: 11 NKJV) Through my belief in that promise, I give thanks for his plan, give thanks that he has a plan, and in faith put my trust in his plan for my life.
This past weekend a mom I know lost her second child to an overdose. She had lost her daughter several years ago and now she loses her son. While I have found confidence in trusting in God’s plan for my life and for the lives of those I love, how do I pass on a message of peace, hope and faith to her? I cannot imagine her seeing any good, any hope, or any promise in God’s plan right now.
As I was reflecting on this mom’s pain, I looked back on the scripture verse from last week’s conversations, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV) This is a pretty powerful call to faith, especially when one has lost two children in such a tragic manner. It is almost impossible to look at a situation where a good, gentle, sweet parent loses tow of her children to this awful disease and see any good in it.
The truth is there is a much bigger picture to this story than what we can see. Regardless of the situation, God is at work here. There is grief, there is loss, and there is pain. Yet, there is also hope, peace and love. And though I will need to grab my pick ax, my flashlight, my bible, and my faith to work through the sadness and the darkness in this mom’s story to find it, I trust and believe it is there, somewhere.
It is hard to understand or see a loving God in a singular situation such as this. However, life is not lived or defined by a single event. Life is a culmination of an extended set of experiences occurring over a long period of time. While in this moment there is grief, there is heartache, there is confusion and there is pain – we have no idea where this story ends or how it will manifest itself in the lives of others. That is why we are encouraged and called to keep moving forward in faith. It isn’t always easy. It is called faith and hope, because we are called to believe in things we cannot see or understand. (Hebrews 11: 1) What keeps me moving and trusting is my belief there will be a bigger, better story to share down the road.
In the meantime, I wish this mom and all those who feel similar pain in this loss, find peace in the comfort of His promises and His love.
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