“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.”
So. Recently I wrote a children’s book. Yeah.
The thing is, the good God worked wasn’t the kids book, though it was God inspired. It was the response by people who know me and shared the book with others. It made realize the significance of that verse. This verse has come up often recently for me.
I guess I should start from the beginning.
I did not have a good childhood. My time spent as little Harley was very rough. Mostly because my family had been ripped apart by so many things. To this day, with the exception my my brother and sister, it remained that way. I have some aunts, uncles, and cousins I’m reconnecting with, thankfully, but mostly it’s over. I had a very violent childhood. It was awful. I did go to church, and I did believe in God. And I asked him repeatedly for a loving and stable family. Begged would be a more appropriate word. A family is something I have wanted as long as I can remember. It was hard seeing my friends’ families doing things together, not having fights and violence. I wanted that so much. And probably one of the reasons I turned from God was I could never understand why in the world he couldn’t give me that. I needed that.
Now I don’t tell that part of my life for sympathy. I tell it to tell this next part and show just how awesome God is.
So yes, I turned away. Pastor likes to call it going prodigal. That misery though led to some good things. I got to college. I met lots of amazing people along the way. And I met people who, I’m convinced led by God, helped walk the path for me back to Him. It took me a while. It was hard to trust sometimes because I was broken. But here we are.
Then I wrote that book.
When I finally announced days ago that it was for sale on Facebook, I asked my friends to share. And boy did they. I didn’t expect the responses I got either. Though I have to admit I have heard them say these things one at a time, never did it occur to me until that rousing chorus that God had done the thing I begged Him for so long ago.
Share after share, my friends wrote descriptions of what they thought and how proud they were. I was called dear friend, closest of friend, and considered family.
And as my friend Kevin M Clark pointed out, I get hung up on words.
I kept seeing that word over and over and over. Through all those hard times and the long journey, God built up for me a stable of people that would be near and dear to me. I tear up as I write this because I could never express to them the blessing they gave me. That God gave me. I have a bigger family than I could have ever imagined. People I know if I called for help they’d not hesitate. People that know I’d instantly do the same for them with no question. People that I love so much. With my remaining living relatives and this extended group of people, I have the biggest family ever. My heart is full.
Call me sappy, but it’s true. And it’s God.
So when Paul says God works for good for those that believe and are called, he’s right, and I can prove it. Not only did He love us so much on His own that He died for us, He gave me even more love through these people, more than I will ever know what to do with. He walked with me in those rough times and called these people according to His purpose. He used my rough times to lead me to people who not only love me, but that I could love, too. He gave me not only the best gift ever in Jesus, He loves me so much more that He added even more.
If He can do that for little ol’ me, imagine what He could do for you if you let Him. I’m not talking material things. I’m talking about the love of a God who yearns to show you just how much He loves you.
And the best part is now I get to watch Him do it for others. God is incredible and deserves that glory.