Monday, August 29, 2011

Good Night, Irene, Good Night

Those are part of the lyrics of a popular song, back in the ‘40s and ‘50s.  It’s also the experience of a lot of folks Saturday night and Sunday, after falling trees knocked down lots of power lines.  The last I heard before my power went out was that there were over a million people in Virginia without power, about 36,000 in Maryland.  That changed to 800, 000 power outages in Maryland alone, some 6,000,000 overall.  Which brings me to the appropriate verse.

Romans 8:28  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.

I know.  We’ve talked about this verse before.  But Irene gave me an opportunity to experience this in a very personal way.  And to see that, while this talks about benefitting the believer, God really works on a much broader scale than those who already believe.  And you’ll see what I mean in a moment.

When it comes to hurricane preparation, the more thorough you are, the better.  And, although not completely, I was pretty well prepared.  When the wind was starting to howl and I found myself in the dark, I was totally at ease.  My flashlight let me get around the house in the dark.  I had some good books to read and a reading light.  So, I read for a half hour to an hour.  I spent at least an hour fellowshipping with my Lord.  And I slept peacefully right through the worst of the storm.  This is what I learned from all of that:
  1. No matter what most circumstances are, we have no control.  We may influence things, but we don’t control them.
  2. By the same token, God does control what’s going on.  All of it – either by giving it or allowing it.
  3. If we recognize those two things, then we have to realize that we can trust Him.
  4. The verse says that circumstances “work together for good”.  It doesn’t say those circumstances are always in themselves good and pleasant.  It’s their outcome we can count on.
  5. Those “called according to His purpose” has, perhaps, a different definition in this context.  God has called all mankind to follow Him and eventually join Him in heaven.  To bless and be blessed.  Unfortunately, not all heed those callings.
  6. There are those “that love God” today who were not in that category before Irene.  They’re just as much a part of that verse as those who believed for a long time.
  7. When you’re a part of those described in the verse, you grow into the kind of trust and understanding that gives great peace.
  8. We don’t all grow at the same rate or in the same way, but some form of that verse will eventually be resident in our experience.

Get ready for God to bless you right out of your socks.  And be prepared for what could be a spiritual or physical roller coster  But know that the outcome will be greater than the journey.  So, think about those points and how they apply to you.  And meditate on Romans 8:28.  Then tell us, how does that work in your life?

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