When I read the Feb. 1st devotional in Streams in the Desert, I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the truth found in the Scripture reading for the day: “This is my doing” (I Kings 12:24). In my heart of hearts, I knew what God had said was true, absolutely true. Yet, I questioned it.
In an effort to “prove” my case, I began to recall various verses that say, in essence, God loves His children and blesses them in innumerable ways. For example: Jeremiah 29:11, ESV: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
But as I struggled to understand (and accept!) the truth, I also recalled verses that tell how God is with us as we go through difficulties. For instance, many centuries ago, God made this promise to His children: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1b-3a, ESV, emphasis added).
I began to understand that God does allow certain things to come our way, things that, from our perspective, seem unfair or unloving. Yet, He has a purpose in each difficulty, in each pathway of pain, even if we can’t understand what it is or why He has allowed it.
Dear Reader, as you and I look at each painful situation, at each stressful circumstance, at each long delay, at whatever strikes fear in our hearts, at…, may we learn to accept the fact that each one is from God and that He is using it and is causing all things (the difficulties as well as the delights) to work together for our good and His glory. (See Romans 8:28.) May we cling to this truth: “Whether He spare or share, He will be there.”