"All Things Means All Things"
My evening began with an opportunity to celebrate with a family in our church over the great news that they received at the end of a medical procedure. It was expected to end with a night of food, fun and fellowship at the home of one of our church members. However, the night was extended way into the morning by the phone call awaiting me upon returning home.
The call was in reference to a private plane crash in a nearby community. Farther investigation revealed that the crash involved a family from our church. As I approached the scene, it immediately became clear that the news was not good. The family of four, the father and mother and two teenagers, had been killed in the crash.
The family was not only a pillar of our church; it was a pillar in our community. The father and mother were active in church and community affairs. The children were active in our church youth group. Like everyone else in our community, my mind was faced with the question we so often raise in situations like this. The question was one big word, “WHY?”
As I pondered the question, my mind was directed to Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (NASB) In the moment, I could not see how anything good could come from this tragedy. The verse clearly states, “God causes all things to work to good for those who love God.” Notice, He did not say all things that happen to us are good. Bad things happen to good people everyday. He does say that no matter what happens, He can use it for good.
The challenge for me and all those who were grieving was to believe in faith that God would keep His promise. In the months that followed our church took comfort in knowing that this family we loved was in the presence of their heavenly Father. There is no greater good than that. But God did so much more. The summer before the tragedy, the daughter had gone on a mission trip to Costa Rico. Her experience was life changing. She came home with a desire to become a missionary. In her memory, friends and family started a camp for underprivileged children in Costa Rico. The camp was named Camp Brittney in her memory. Now, each summer, hundreds of children have an opportunity to escape for a week and attend a camp where they experience a week of food, fun and fellowship in a safe environment. More important, they experience the love of Jesus. As a result many have come to know Him as Lord and their lives have been changed forever.
While most of us have not had to experience a similar tragedy in our own lives, we all have had to deal with adversity. Some of you who are reading this article are going through your own difficult times. Whatever your difficulty might be, remember that the “all” in Romans 8:28 covers it. If you will trust Him, God will take whatever trial you may be enduring at the moment and use it for your good. In the meantime, He will give us the strength we need to endure.