Last Friday, I had a day free of other obligations. I was tired, and vegging out on the couch to write and watch movies sounded perfect. So, when my mom asked if I wanted to go to the store with her, I said no. Just as I was starting my movie, I heard two car honks. I looked, and my neighbor was parked in my driveway. When I went out to meet her, my plans changed; she needed me to drive her to the ER.
I spent most of my day with her, waiting on news from various doctors and tests, and in between, she brought up church. I took the opportunity to share my faith with her and to pray for her. Though I ended my day much more tired than I began it, I believe that God arranged my day just the way he wanted to.
If I hadn’t been tired, I wouldn’t have been home when my neighbor needed me. If I’d spent my day in front of the computer and TV, I couldn’t have shown His love to a woman who needed to hear about it.
Now I won’t say that my feeling off that morning was the worst thing that could’ve happened, but I sure would’ve appreciated feeling better than I did. At the time. But now, in retrospect, I believe that feeling, though uncomfortable, fit perfectly into God’s plan.
I’ve mentioned it in other posts, but I’m still reading Desiring God by John Piper. I just read the part about how God is in complete control of everything, evil included. What an exciting comfort it is that no matter what suffering I see on earth, God is using it for His purposes. And it’s not just that He’s reacting to the bad things that happen. He’s in control of them from the start. He could stop them if He wanted to. That he chooses to allow them means he has a plan in them.
(This is a whole chapter in the book, so I won’t try to tackle it here; Piper does a much better job than I ever could. If you have questions about God allowing evil in the world, then I highly recommend Desiring God.)
We don’t always get to see how He uses our suffering right away, but believers can rest assured that everything that happens passes through His good hands.