It’s been long but short; trying though still rewarding; boring yet productive; sin-saturated albeit insightful. There have been days filled with great encouragement, and days that I just wanted to stay in the bed and cover my head. I’ve met some unusually interesting people, as well as others that I don’t care to ever cross paths with again – especially in a dark alley. It’s been very educational at times and then grossly dumbing and void of any substance at others. As of today I’ve been in jail one year – it’s been the “poster child” as far as “roller coaster” experiences are concerned, I must say.
It’s been GOOD!
What? (you may be saying to yourself)
…because of the Truths that the Holy Spirit revealed to us through the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:28. Yes, in ALL things God “works for the GOOD of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Do not construe the meaning of this verse. It was not meant as a lemonade out of lemons, positive thinking, self-help proclamation of encouragement to be used by just anybody and everybody who happens to stumble across this promise. It is a fact that is pertinent only to those who truly love Him – those who have repented of their rebellious status and have laid down their self-seeking, self-reliant, sin filled lives to the love and Lordship of Jesus Christ.
What then is the GOOD that is promised to those that love Him – to those that are His? What is the GOOD that could come from this seemingly bad situation? Is it that God is going to make it all okay? Or that consequences for past wrongs will disappear? That jail will be easy? That every day will be a bed of roses? Of course…you know this…the answer is NO! The ultimate goal and ultimate end of any and every situation and circumstance that God allows “those who love Him” to go through is for but one purpose…and that purpose is revealed in the very next verse, verse 29.
“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son”
What is the ultimate goal and ultimate end? To be conformed to the likeness of His Son –
to make us like Christ.
God uses this jacked up, chronically and terminally ill, evil world we live in, as well as our self-centered and self-inflicted WRONG to make us RIGHT. These are merely instruments He uses to mold and shape us to be more like Jesus each and every day. That’s the GOOD.
There’s no sugar coating it, these past 19 months (7 after I got caught before I was sentenced, and 12 in jail) have been challenging and trying – BUT – they have been GOOD. God has taken me to task, revealing hidden false beliefs about Him, myself, and the world. They had to be corrected –
they were killing me.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, but in the same way, Lump has been molded and shaped through this situation as well. Individually, we have been experiencing different molding and shaping but with the same ultimate goal and same ultimate end. Not only has it drawn us closer to each other but much closer to Him.
So, the question is not WHY am I experiencing this or that, but WHAT, God, are you trying to teach me through this experience that will make me more like Christ? Help me see the GOOD.
…from the inside…ray-ray