“For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:56
I came across this story the other day (For pet-lovers…my apologies ahead of time). 🙂
The dog never saw the car coming. He loped across a white line just seconds before the car crested the hill. There was a screech of brakes, a thump, and the animal flipped head over heals, scattering hair down the rough road. A boy ran screaming across the front yard, but it was too late. His dear pet was gone.
Just that morning the boy’s parents had been discussing their son and the fact that lately, he seemed to be much more disrespectful, more rebellious, and more disconnected. They spoke in muted tones, concerned about where this might be heading. “I seems,” said his mother, “that the only thing that can get close to him is his dog.” “Yes,” his father agreed, staring into his coffee cup. “What we need is an opportunity to connect with him again.”
Well, now the dog was gone, and the boy was devastated, and his parents had an opportunity to try to reconnect with him as they comforted him. Would it be fair to assume that they had arranged all this in the first place, by paying a friend to run over their son’s dog? Of course not! That’s ridiculous. But there are times, I think, that we tend to view God in that way. When something hard comes along, we assume that God sent it to teach us a lesson, and that we had better learn the lesson quickly so we can get out of our pain.
But it doesn’t necessarily work that way. Pain is a reality in our fallen world. Grandmas die of cancer. Babies struggle to breathe in the NICU. Dogs get run over. Stuff happens. I don’t know if God planned for Joseph’s brothers (in the O.T.) to try to kill him and then decide to sell him into slavery. But as we know, what they meant for evil, God turned it around for good to save His people.
Like those parents, God will use situations in our lives to reconnect with us if we give Him the opportunity. We need to remember Romans 8:28 in every situation that we face: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. Also, like the parents, He is not the cause of our pain, but God is always the remedy.