Romans 8:28 from The Voice Translation: “We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.”
One of my favorite Old Testament stories is about Joseph, sometimes alternately known as the Technicolor Dreamcoat guy. He had a rough go of it (see Genesis 37-50—yes it’s a long story but a good one!). He was despised by his brothers, sold by them into slavery, accused of rape, tossed in jail, forgotten and left behind, etc. In every situation God was working behind the scenes, sometimes visible but mostly unseen, and bringing about good from bad situations.
If anyone had the opportunity to cry out, “Why God?! Why me?!” it was Joseph. If anyone could ask the question, “Why does bad stuff happen to good people?” it was Joseph.
What always springs forth to mind with that last question is that it infers that it’s totally fine if bad stuff happens to “bad people” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) and that only good stuff should happen to “good people.” The truth is that good stuff happens to everyone and bad stuff happens to everyone. That’s life, and that’s reality. Stuff happens. Period.
What I’ve come to realize is that the questions we ask are not always the right ones (see this post for more on that), and sometimes asking questions isn’t helpful in the slightest. What has been helpful for me, though, is the verse that I shared above. The Voice translation is a fun one to check from time to time to compare with other translations, and I love the way this is translated. God IS able to orchestrate everything—sometimes behind the scenes and invisible but still active—to work toward something good and beautiful. That something good and beautiful can often be hard to find, but it’s there. That something good and beautiful may not spring forth immediately in the timing that we would prefer, but it will happen.
No matter the darkness, ugliness, brokenness, or pain, there is promise that God is not absent. God sees and knows and cares, even if it seems for a time that we are alone.
We might not see the ways that God is at work, and it might not be our definition of the right timing, but God is there and is able to orchestrate something good and beautiful out of even the worst of circumstances.
If you’ve been wanting to talk about the circumstances in your life, and could use some help in processing the good and bad as a way to identify the beautiful, let’s get together for spiritual direction. Click the image below for more information and scheduling.
Husband, father, pastor, and Steelers fan. Lover of coffee, dogs, and bourbon.