I’ve been visiting a new church lately.
Sorry you had to find out this way.
Anyways, this past Sunday the tiny congregation had an untraditional time of worship. Instead of having the pastor preach his message (from the last chapter of John, which he’s been preaching exegetically for the past four, FOUR years), they had three pre-picked church members share what God was up to in their lives.
One of the girls who spoke was a missionary that's been living in Miami. She is working with a group called Interchange, and they are reaching the impoverished West Grove community. This young woman shared about how Miami was the last choice on her list of places to live. The West Coast (arguably the Best Coast, just kidding) was at the top of the list (I mean, who wouldn’t want to serve in Cali, seriously?) When things didn’t go through, she got stuck coming down to Miami.
Her initial thought, “I’m going to Miami? Oh no…that’s bad.” It was bad because it wasn’t what she wanted. And when our plans don't seem to be going how we want, we automatically put a big, red BAD label on it…before the situation even has an opportunity to pan out.
But of course, like most situations, her experience serving in Miami has gone from BAD to…good…and from good to, well, GREAT. Why? Because her coming to Miami was always God’s good, er, GREAT plan. While she fantasized about how awesome ministry would be in San Fran, God was orchestrating the perfect plan across the country. Maybe not what she wanted…but EXACTLY what she needed.
Needed for what, you ask? Well, I don’t exactly know. But maybe it had to do with shaping her character and strengthening her faith. Or maybe it was exactly what was needed for her to break free from a specific battle she was fighting. Or maybe it was the exact person she would meet that needed her—that one person that would be forever changed because of her. Whatever the case, God’s plan for her to come to Miami would show how awesome HE is…and really…how it had nothing to do with her in the first place.
Thousands of years ago, God spoke through the prophet Isaiah saying, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8)
A lot of times when things seem “BAD” (like having to move your entire life to a city that you don’t even like), we want to take out our red pens and start mentally labeling situations with the B-word, while stomping on the ground in frustration…all the while, God is probably like, “Really? You don’t even know what I have planned!”
Now, I’m not saying that every situation will work out for your favor, but what I am saying is that we can trust God even when it doesn’t. Why? Well, because He sees the whole picture. He knows the whole picture—not just the current situation. He sees, knows, and orchestrated it to work out in the grand scheme of things. And although He loves and cares for each of us deeply and personally, He is in the business of bringing glory to Himself—not us—and He will use whatever circumstance and whatever situation to do so.
You may not see the GOOD in the situation yet…you might not see it ever…but hey, it’s never really about YOU anyways. So rest, knowing that every BAD is actually a GOOD in the scope of God’s glory.
Dear friends, walk in the freedom today of knowing that it’s not about you. It never has been, and frankly, it never will be. Be liberated in knowing that it’s always been and always will be about Him and His glory.
"Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for how should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another."