And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Was that really God’s plan?
I’ve seen this verse used so many times to support statements like, “you were running late because God saved you from getting in a car accident.” But I think this Bible verse is misapplied in many ways. When people go through hard times they turn to this verse and say that “it will all work out because it was all part of God’s plan.” I don’t see this verse that way. That way of thinking can be a crutch that allows people to cope with poor decisions made by humans because it puts the blame and responsibility off of them and onto God.
Applying this mentality to my own past, I could say that it was God’s plan that I married the wrong man, and all of the pain I went through was worth it to finally find the person I’m with now. And while I do have a beautiful marriage now, I would be wrong to think this way. It wasn’t God’s plan that I divorced. I didn’t have God at the center of my first marriage. To be frank, I didn’t have God at the center of anything in my life at that time. But I do believe that if God was in the center of that marriage, that marriage could have been saved. At that time in my life I would say “I must be doing something right, because God keeps blessing me.” I said this all the time, while continuing to live in sin. Looking back, I even said this after the Holy Spirit tried to convict me and lead me back to Him. He was telling me, “I’m fixing this for you, but I’m letting you know that this isn’t the way it was supposed to be.”
God will never approve of you sinning and living a life in opposition to Him. I don’t believe that it was God’s plan for me to go through the things I put myself through. God is not the one responsible – it was my choice to marry the person I married, and it was my choice to do the things I did and take the path I took. God, with His abundant grace, and mercy, and love, took my bad decisions and worked them for my good and His glory.
When God Saves Our Supper
I was making dinner with Kora, my 11-year-old daughter, when she decided she wanted to cook a box of Mac ’n’ Cheese. The instructions said to boil and drain the noodles, and then to add the milk and sauce mix. She didn’t fully read the directions and added the sauce mix and the milk into the pot when it was still full of the water used to boil the noodles. I didn’t get upset with her, but had her step aside for me to finish. I was able to save the pasta and it tasted just as good as if she had followed the directions correctly. But just because I was able to save it doesn’t mean that it was ever my plan for her to “mess it up.” That’s how I see Romans 8:28.
We need to be aware of when He steps in and “saves our supper” so that we can avoid some of the mistakes we keep making. His way is perfect and He works all things for our good. But it’s not His plan for us to ignore His instructions. It all works out perfectly and seamlessly because God is awesome in power. He makes it so seamless that it’s sometimes hard to imagine that it could ever have been any different. And just like me fixing Kora’s misstep, just because He fixes our messes doesn’t mean that it was His plan to have us mess it up all along. Sometimes horrible things happen to us and sometimes we make mistakes. The goodness of God is that He takes all of those things and makes them into something that will be for good. God wastes nothing. That is an awesome God!