Have you ever wanted something so bad that you were willing to do just about anything to get it?
What I wanted more than anything in the world, when I was a teenager, was a pair of “Ditto” pants and yes I know that dates me! (In case you’re wondering these were a very hot commodity in the 70’s, I’m just sayin’!) No off-brands for me I wanted the genuine article. I scrimped and saved and dreamed about those Ditto’s. For a moment in time all my energy, effort and thoughts were wrapped up in obtaining a pair. I was a slave to my desire and worked hard to own my first name-brand pants!
Since then, there have been other possessions, people or dreams that have occupied my time, my attention, and my energy. What about you? Have you ever focused on something so much that everything else began to dim in comparison?
In Romans chapter eight we find a very familiar passage of scripture. If I took a poll I bet most of us could quote this verse from memory. We’ve probably had this verse pushed on us during a difficult period of our life from well meaning people who haven’t quite known what to say. This verse has been used so many times and in so many inappropriate ways that for many of us it has become a bad cliché – how sad is that.
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. Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Taking a fresh look at this Scripture a few weeks ago, led me to discover a treasure in this verse I had never seen before. Do you see it? In all things God WORKS for the good . . .
The word WORK jumped off the page and straight into my heart. I think I had always envisioned this “working” as something that haphazardly happened or that maybe God was somehow “helping” all things to be for my good. But what if it’s more intentional than that, more focused? What if God is WORKING the way I worked at getting my Ditto pants? What if He has a laser-like focus, an all-consuming passion to do this work in and for me?
The word work is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as an activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something and a sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve and objective or result.
Work is HARD. It takes intentionality, focus and skill. God is not just “hoping” things will work out for our good. He is orchestrating, planning, and crafting ALL things in your life and mine for our BEST!
Think about it! He has the universe at his fingertips, is resource rich and is not hampered in His WORK by our poor choices, mistakes, or sin. This passion and planning is born out of His LOVE for us, His children. He will not rest until the task is finished. He will not give up or complain that the task is too hard. He is driven, focused and intent on working ALL things, the good and the bad in our life for our GOOD.
Resist the temptation, the next time you hear this verse used as a simple platitude, to overlook it, or to throw it aside. Instead, be reminded of your God and how much He is FOR YOU!