When events like the tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa, Alabama and the earthquake in Honshu, Japan happen, it's very hard to think (let alone see) that there is something good happening within the event. Everything looks like a twisted, topsy-turvy mess. People's lives are in complete disarray and pain, suffering and death is everywhere you look.
God's Word tells us that ALL things work "together" for good to them who love God; to them who are called according to his purpose.
I put emphasis on the word "together" because if we were to look deeply in to the mayhem, destruction, pain and death in Joplin, Tuscaloosa and Honshu, we would find "things" happening.
"Things" that if we had eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying, we would see and hear that God is working in the lives of those who love him. Maybe in the loss of a home, God is working to show someone that "home" truly is where the heart is; that a home is nice for protection from the elements, but that if you love God and your heart is in His hands, home is wherever He puts you; in whatever circumstances He puts you into.
Maybe in the loss of a loved one He is teaching someone there compassion - compassion for others who, too, have lost a loved one or two, or three.
Sometimes I think that unless we are suffering some"thing", we (as human beings) just stop thinking about other people's pain and suffering because we are by nature selfish and self-focused.
Give me a full cupboard and refrigerator, a roof over my head, a blanket, a pillow and my loved ones around me and I can almost forget the rest of the world exists. That's one thing we can thank the Internet for...keeping us connected to the rest of the world (and it's pain and suffering)!
As I am learning everyday, it is the circumstances of our lives that God works in to bring us to trust Him completely and to live in the circle of His provision. We are "needy" beings, but we don't like to think of ourselves as such. We want to think we need no one, no thing and we can overcome any obstacle and/or opponent.
The truth is, even when all of our needs are met, i.e., food, clothing, shelter, love and human interaction, we still, at heart are in need of a relationship with the one who made us and who is The One who gives us the final stamp of approval. Without His stamp, we continue to run through people, places and things trying to find that one "thing" that will give us peace, and until and unless we finally accept that the thing we need most is God, we won't find that peace.
Is it possible that part of the reason for this is that we need to know that our lives our not completely in our control; that there is One who is control of everything and that nothing happens to us that He is not aware of and is okay with? I think so.
As I said at the beginning of the ramble within my brain this morning, Romans 8:28 tells us that ALL things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to HIS purpose. If you look a little further down the page, then Romans 8:31 says "What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?" and Romans 8:35 "Who (What) shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"
Even when the very things we "need" (as we see it) are taken from us, when we have that "one thing" that gives us true peace - that being approval of the One Who Created Us - nothing can separate us from Him. We can walk daily in the reassurance and confidence that ALL things that happen to us WORK TOGETHER for good because we love Him and have been called according to HIS purpose. It's much easier (but still not easy) when we can lay ALL things at His feet and trust in His wisdom (which is far greater than ours) and His love (which is much purer than ours) to do what is going to bring the most good to the most people.
Father God, I pray today that you would help me to really put my trust in you into action today; that I might really grasp that everything that happens to me works together for my good because I do love you and I know that you have called me and your word tells me that you have a purpose for me. Lord, I want to put my life wholly in your hands. Help me do it. Stay especially close to me today and open my ears and eyes and let me hear and see you at work in my life. I ask it in Jesus' name.