Did you ever wonder why things happen to you?
I’m learning that the gospel gives you glasses to help you understand.
The Apostle Paul once said… “God… set me apart from birth.” (Galatians 1:15). I believe every Christian can say that. By faith, we can often look back on our life and see God guiding, shaping, preparing.
In the Old Testament, when Joseph forgave his brothers who sold into slavery, he said, “You meant it for evil, God meant it for good.”
In other words, “I have come to see that God used the events of my life, both good and bad, to prepare me to serve people, to make me whom I am. What you did was wrong, but God was working through it.”
In other words, “the bad things that happened to me were God’s way of setting me apart.”
It was true for Paul, and Joseph – and for you!
Everything that has happened to you, even stupid things you have done – everything – is being used by God to make you able to do certain things for him.
C. S. Lewis was married to Joy Davidman. After she died, he wrote a book to help him work through his grief. In his book, A Grief Observed, Lewis wrote… “
She is in God’s hands. That gains new energy when I think of her as a sword. Perhaps the earthly life I shared with her was only part of the tempering. Perhaps he grasps the hilt, weighs the new weapon, makes lightning in the air. She is a right Jerusalem blade.”
That is what is going on in your life. God has been tempering you and sharpening you. All your life – in everything you have done, and everything that has happened to you – God is turning you into a right Jerusalem blade – something sharp, something beautiful, something great, he can use.
God’s plan for Paul, for Joseph, for C. S. Lewis – and for you – is very personal. It is to reveal Jesus to you, and then through you, so others know. That is his plan for you.
We’ll talk more about this Sunday night, August 8, at the Germantown Performing Arts Center. The Orchard Fellowship meets at 6:00pm. I hope to see you there!
(The idea behind this reflection came from a sermon in Tim Keller’s Galatians series)