All Things?

boy reading Holy Bible while lying on bed

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. [Romans 8:28-29]

“I’ll take it all!” Could you imagine driving up to a drive-thru at your favorite to-go restaurant and uttering those words? There are many good reasons never to do something like that, cholesterol the chief among them. You’d never be able to eat it all, and even if you could, there are probably some things you would never order. That fish sandwich? No thanks. Fake apple pie? Not for me.

There are things we would probably rather leave behind in ourselves, too. (And let’s not even talk about the things we wish could change in others…) Maybe we’d want to change our nose or how tall we are, but all the things on the inside are calling out even more to us. The pride or insecurity, the anger or quietness, the weaknesses or inability to deal with the faults of others… And if we wouldn’t change part of who we are, we would change things that have happened to us. We’d want things to go differently. We would never want to lose that loved one, or take that job, or move to that place, or… fill in the blank. We would never say, “I’ll take it all!” about ourselves.

But that’s exactly what Romans 8:28 is saying to us. God has a purpose for all things in our lives. And God’s purposes are all good. What a contradiction in our hearts and minds! How does that even make sense, all these things we want to change and God is working them together for good? All things… Nothing is outside the scope of God’s plan and God’s grace.

Take a moment and think about all the things you’d like to change about yourself or your life. Those things specifically were put there for God’s purposes. And God’s plan for us might be most clearly seen in the things we would never choose for ourselves.

God knew you before you came into being. And God planned out your life. He called you, made you holy and righteous in Christ, and God will glorify you in the light of Christ. And whether or not you want to say it, God does. “I’ll take it all!” God wants all of you. God loves all of you. God has good plans for all of you.

The question for us, then, is not what should we try to get rid of in ourselves, but rather, What is God doing with all those things we don’t want in ourselves or our lives? What a wonderful question to take to our Lord.

Dear God, we experience a lot of things we would never want to. We know You are in control of all things, but when it is something we are going through, it can be hard to trust. Help us, dear Lord, as followers of Jesus, accept all things from Your hand. Help us to see You working all things together for good. And bring us at last into Your eternal glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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