And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Have you ever wondered if God still works ALL things together for our good when we screw up - intentionally or unintentionally. This is something I struggle with. It causes me to lose faith when I make a bad decision, take a wrong turn in life, say something I knew I shouldn't have. It causes me to wonder if God is still going to work all things for my good. The short answer that I've found is - yes - He will and He does.
Once a year, my friends and I hold an all-night prayer session. We always start the first hour with praise and thanksgiving. One of the things we reflect on is our favorite thing about God - our favorite character trait. Hands down mine is His ability to redeem anything. I probably pray the simple prayer, "Jesus, please redeem this," many times a week. I've learned in any situation, even if it's my fault or disobedience or carelessness, He can redeem it.
I have so many examples of God redeeming situations, but one of my favorite's that I think of often is when my girls and I were on vacation earlier this summer. It was just the 3 of us in a foreign Caribbean country. We were very much out of our element and for this reason, used a taxi everywhere we went. One day, however, someone had told us of a popular beach about a half mile to a mile away. Since it was "just around the corner," we decided to walk. I don't think there are words for how hot and muggy it was. It was miserable anywhere outside of a beach. So we take off on our walk - the wrong way - around the wrong corner. And of course, we don't realize it until we had gone really far and ended up at a dead end in an overgrown field. Instead of a popular, thriving beach - we were met with tall grass and mosquitoes. Oops! Needless to say, I had 2 very unhappy campers on my hands since the walk was my idea in the first place. As usual, I prayed my prayer for redemption, that somehow, some way God would redeem this sticky (literally) situation. And did He ever answer that prayer! Across the field, I could see that it dropped off. I managed to talk the kids into walking through the tall grass (not a single person in sight - kind of scary) to see what was over the cliff. After much (more) grumbling, we walked over to the edge of the field and looked down to see a beautiful, secluded beach. We climbed down rocks and made our way to what became known as our "private" beach. It was the highlight of our entire vacation. The kids barely remember the wrong turn, the tall grass, the mosquitoes, their tired legs - but they remember every detail of "our" beach. This beach had shells unlike any others on the entire island and the seclusion made it so special. Isn't it just like Our Redeemer to turn my wrong turn into the best part of our trip? And doesn't He do that so often in our lives?
It's such a reminder to me as I walk this journey God has placed me on that He's working ALL things for good ALL the time - in spite of my mistakes.
I'd love to hear your stories of redemption. They are truly my favorite.