Show Me the Way: All things.

I became a christian later in life. I went to church as a child but the Gospel didn’t become real to me until I was in my twenties. When I first started to study the Word and learn about Jesus, I struggled a lot with shame. I had a difficult past and had made more than a few bad decisions. And while I was thankful for the promise of forgiveness, I had a hard time believing that I could really become a new person.

This became even more of a stumbling block when I started to feel called into youth ministry. How could I help lead young people down the right path when I had spent my youth on the wrong one?  I felt disqualified. Then I started volunteering with a local outreach ministry and met another youth leader who also had a troubled past. He had built strong relationships of trust with some of the most difficult students because they felt he could relate to them. He understood their struggles. I started to see that God could use what I had been through and the things I had done for His glory. And this became my life verse:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28.

Over the years, I’ve been blessed to speak this truth in victory. All my mistakes, all the traumatic things I had been through – my God is big enough to turn them into something good. Hallelujah!

But I’ve also learned that declaring “God works all things for good!” is a lot easier when you’re speaking of things that have already happened. When you’re in the middle of the valley, it’s still just as true, but it’s much harder to accept. At times, I’ve shouted these words with joy. But more often, I whisper them through tears and mutter them through gritted teeth.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28.

I’ve repeated it over and over to myself in hospital hallways. It echoed through the empty rooms on the day we moved away from our home and everyone we knew. I have spoken it over a stack of unpaid bills and in the face of difficult test results.  It has been my mantra in the middle of sleepless nights and a battlecry on my darkest days.

Life has it’s mountaintops and valleys. We all know that better than we’d like to. But the truth that stands through it all is this: … all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28.

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