February 14, 2016

Romans 8:28 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.

This is such an incredibly familiar verse that I can’t think when I might have written on it, because I tend to take it for granted. Right now, however, it seems intensely real and personal because of what I am going through. This is why the Bible tells us to “store up” God’s Word in our hearts. (Psalm 119:11, as the Japanese expresses it) We really don’t know when we are going to need a particular Word from the Lord. It is wonderful and moving to be touched by a particular verse or passage during regular devotions, but that’s only half the story. The more familiar we become with the Bible, the easier it is for the Holy Spirit to apply just the right words to whatever we happen to be experiencing at the moment. Any time we read the Bible we need to be seeking to hear what God is saying to us at that moment, but we aren’t to just skim over whatever doesn’t seem to ring a bell. That “silent” part might be exactly what we need next week! Also, as the Word of God, the Bible has depth beyond any mere work of literature, and He can speak something new to us even on the hundredth reading.

My need for this verse was intensified when my wife “blanked out” for a while yesterday morning, and then had a seizure that made the nurse tell me to push the emergency button on the wall to summon a full crew. She came through that, but it gave very personal understanding to the reality that her brain is having to adjust to the empty area that was left when the tumor was removed. That adjustment process can be very scary for all involved! I already knew on several levels that God was faithful whatever He might take us through, but feeling like I might be seeing my wife die in front of me made it all very personal indeed. The recovery process has further to go, and I don’t know what all will be involved, but I do know that not only am I powerless in it all, but that my powerlessness is a good thing, because it is teaching me to trust God at levels I had never touched before. God is indeed causing everything to work for good, and He will continue to do so.

Father, thank You for this lesson, as rough as it was. I was certainly shaken! Thank You that my foundation can’t shake, because it is Christ Jesus my Lord. Help me walk in full obedience and assurance today, particularly as I preach and minister in the service, that I may not hinder the flow of Your grace through me by my own self-absorbtion. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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