Last night, it took me many hours to get to sleep. For one thing, I was stuck on the verse: “God makes all things come together for good…” and was arguing it out in my head. Several people at life group brought up stories of tragedy last night, and this verse was mentioned by a couple of people. Not that I don’t believe it, but more that I feel it is dangerous to leave it there. There is more to it, and so many people take it to believe things will come together for better after some serious tragedy. Yet for a lot of people, things don’t get better after that. They live in pain, and question God, and…
When my children were taken, I was brought this verse over and over again – and I kept thinking, “It doesn’t mean it will be better for me.” What about the Jewish and Christian people killed in the Holocaust? What about the Jewish people who were in slavery for something like 400 years in Egypt before God showed up? What about… and I thought of a whole lot of situations where all for good didn’t seem so great individually.
There are a lot of people suffering in the world, and for many of them, things aren’t likely to get much better.
So I thought that the way people use this verse is dangerous, because for those whose lives don’t improve after such bad things, it could lead them to become bitter with God. “God makes all things come together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” Okay, so does that mean if things don’t improve, it means our love for God isn’t genuine?
I don’t believe it.
“God makes all things come together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purposes.” I thought of this over and over, and asked: “What is it that those who love God and are called according to his purposes want?” In other words, what is it that we, as Christians, are supposed to want our lives, and our actions to do?
The answer: Bring glory to God.
So if the verse read: “God makes all things work together for his glory,” well then even the tragedy would be worth it for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.
This post wasn’t meant to be about this thought at all. Sometimes things write themselves, and that is okay. The things that keep me awake at night!
The other thing that kept me awake last night was my cat.
Ditch is an extremely affectionate, funny, into everything type of cat. He is my buddy, and when my dog died, he never left my side for two weeks. Even before that, he spent a lot of time lying against me, purring, and kneading. My Gryff was an independent dog, who didn’t mind sharing me with the others. Clara, on the other hand, has pretty much attached herself to my side, and doesn’t like anyone else getting “mommy time,” so Ditch takes his where he can get it, often when she is buried under the blankets, sleeping.
Last night that meant making his way onto my pillow where he spent hours purring, kneading, and licking my forehead. Not exactly conductive to sleep, and he is not one to be deterred. I’d push him away, and he would slap my hand away, or bite it (lightly, but enough to let me know he was annoyed.) Feeling bad that he hadn’t had so much attention from me in a while, I turned over (which stopped the licking) and allowed him to keep kneading.
Every once in a while, I would try to move him away so I could get to sleep, and he would bite, or slap, and keep going. Finally about 2am, I picked him up, and put him out of the bed. I felt bad, but after that I was able to slow my thoughts down and get to sleep.
Four hours of thoughts and purrs, bites, and kneading, with my husband sleeping soundly beside me – and he wonders why I have so much trouble getting up in the morning.