I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:10 (The Message)
I love stories. I love to read and hear about amazing events in people’s lives and I also like to share my own stories. It is not hard for me as I have so many stories to tell. I’ve always felt that it is my duty to share the things I’ve lived through and the lessons I’ve learn in this great and awesome journey called life. God has been good and faithful so why keep it to myself, right?
Last night, I had a group of friends and family together for prayer and bible study. We began to testify and before I knew it, the room began to fill with stories of God’s great faithfulness during times of struggle and adversity. It all started with my mother in law sharing her childhood story of her family’s survival after a devastating divorce and severe poverty. Even as she was speaking I could sense God’s presence remind us that He is in the midst of every circumstance we face.
The thing is, when we struggle, we tend to feel alone. We get angry if we think God is not speaking or moving on our behalf. Sometimes we even become critical and behave as if we were entitled to God’s blessings because we’ve “paid our dues”. We got it all so wrong, don’t we? God doesn’t owe us anything, and yet because of His great love, we are not consumed! Nothing that happens to us is random. God is always working on our behalf and for a purpose that may not be very clear to us at the time however, we can trust it is perfect.
In closing, I’ll leave you with a fictional story one of my friends shared last night:
A king who did not believe in the goodness of God, had a slave who, in all circumstances would say: My king, do not be discouraged, because everything God does is perfect, no mistakes!
One day they went hunting and along the way a wild animal attacked the king. His slave managed to kill the animal, but could not prevent his majesty from losing a finger. Furious and without showing his gratitude for being saved, the nobleman said “Is God good? If He was good, I would not have been attacked and lost my finger.”
The slave replied only “My king, despite all these things, I can only tell you that God is good, and he knows the “why” of all these things. What God does is perfect. He is never wrong!”
Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his slave. Later, he left for another hunt and was captured by savages who made human sacrifices.
While on the altar, ready to sacrifice the noble, the savage found that the victim had a missing finger and so he was released. According to them, he was not so complete to be offered to their gods.
Upon his return to the palace, the king authorized the release of his slave to whom he said very affectionately:
– My dear, God was really good to me! I was almost killed by the wild men, but for lack of a single finger, I was let go! But I have a question: If God is so good, why did he allow me to put you in jail?
– My King, if I had gone with you in this hunt, I would have been sacrificed for you, because I have no missing finger.
Be encouraged today my friends, though you may have gone through or may be going through a season of suffering, suffer well! Christ is more beautiful when we are more broken and what God does is always perfect.
Just tell yourself; “Is only a finger.”