We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
I like love notes. My wife Judy and I have been married for a long, long time. Sometimes people ask how it is that we have stayed married to each other for forty-four years. It could be that I am an incredible husband but the truth is Judy is an incredible wife. She is pretty patient with me when I mess up and well, that’s quite frequently. She also has a great servant’s heart. She is constantly doing the small things that just say, “I love you.” In that way she is a lot like God.
It always impresses me when God does something really big in my world. It causes me to just stop and be amazed. Our lives are filled with stories that show the handiwork of God. Each one is a love note and each one bears His signature. Whether it is getting though a particularly hard time or fulfilling a dream, He is always there. The trick is learning to see it.
Back in 1981, Judy and I were living in Warrensburg, Missouri. We were attending the First Baptist Church there and having the time of our lives. God had blessed us with a wonderful group of friends and we were serving in several ministries there. Two of those involved music. We were teaching preschool choir (those songs still roll around in my head) and both of us were in the adult choir. Our worship leader, Dan Tracy, was a great guy and great leader. Every choir practice and performance was spiritually magical.
One of the things that Dan did was lead a choir tour every Spring. The church would rent a bus for the weekend and our choir would sing at several churches. In the Spring of 1981, Judy and I were brand new parents. Our first daughter Rebecca had been born that January. She was obviously too young to leave with a sitter so Judy and I agreed she would stay home and I would go with the choir. So on a Thursday afternoon, she took me to church to leave with the choir. We were all excited, but I kinda felt bad leaving Judy behind.
Finally, just about everyone was on the bus and it was time to go. Someone, it may have been Dan, was locking the church door when he happened to hear the phone ringing. For some reason, he stopped and went back inside to answer it. It really didn’t make a lot of since because it was after hours and it was a larger church so people called all the time. Regardless, he answered the call. It was for me.
Now before the story goes any further you need to understand that most of our family had no clue what state we lived in. Most of them probably didn’t know where Missouri was on the map. Certainly, no one knew we were attending First Baptist and certainly no one knew I was there late on a Thursday afternoon leaving on a choir tour. Yet the call was for me. It was Judy’s brother…her father had died suddenly of a heart attack and we needed to go home to Georgia.
Now pause just a moment and be amazed. No one knew what church we were attending, it was after hours, I was moments away from leaving for the tour and someone just happened to hear the phone and answer it. Amazing. It was obviously very hard news but to this day Judy and I both marvel at how our Father orchestrated this. It was as if He said, “Judy, you have a difficult journey ahead of you but I am putting this together so you will know that I love you and I will walk with you.” And yes, it was as if He signed it, “Love, Dearest Daddy.”
It was a difficult journey that left us both shocked and surprised. Judy’s daddy had just been with us for Rebecca’s birth and suddenly, he moved to heaven. But even in those sad, heartbroken moments, we knew He was not leaving us to walk through this hard time alone. We trusted that He would show us the way as we walked this new, unplanned path. And He never left us to walk alone.
How about you? First, I hope you have made the decision to ask God to forgive your sins and be your Father. It is the greatest and best decision ever. Again, it has nothing to do with religion or church. It has everything to do with a relationship with the Creator of everything. Second, if you have done that I hope you will make it a habit to look and see the handiwork of your Father in everyday life. He is constantly at work—in the good times and hard times. He is at work when it is obvious and when it is not.
It is one of those verses that a lot of people throw around but it is just packed with truth. It says, “we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Now, it doesn’t say that everything is good but that God can bring good from all circumstances. God in fact did get us safely through a twenty-three hour drive to South Georgia with a six week old baby girl in the back seat. God did show us His love through an amazing phone call. And the best part—He does it for each of His kids. So, snuggle up and rest in Him. He loves you and He’s got this.