And I've been thinking about the things I wanted - the things I begged God for - but never seemed to happen.
Dad died anyway.
I didn't get either of the positions I dearly wanted last year.
The one I've prayed for still hasn't returned to God.
I suppose this verse is in my head because I'm living a deja vu. What I wanted last spring is again in play. A maybe. A prayer. A hope.
But I know that it didn't happen last spring and it isn't likely to happen this spring either.
All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord...
If God had given me what I wanted last spring, I would not have been available to do the Women of Grace program or the Journey Home program. I would not have been available to do all the radio interviews that have come along this year. What has it been? Ten? Fifteen?
That's when I began thinking that God had kept me free for these things. That all things really have worked out for my good.
But then, I realized something. I stepped out of my narcissistic view and thought about the verse from an ecclesial point of view.
I am not the only one who loves the Lord and not the only one who is called to serve Him
This verse is about me - but it is (more importantly) about all those who love the Lord, will love the Lord. It is about all those who are called according to His purposes, will be called according to His purposes.
And suddenly, I can see that it is possible - very probable - that even the worst things that could happen to me might just be the best thing to happen for another one who loves the Lord, who is called or is being called.
Maybe I'll be passed over for the very job I want. Maybe I'll suddenly drop from favor and nobody will read anything I write. Maybe I will be put on a shelf - and set aside for awhile. Maybe I will get a terrible diagnosis. Maybe I will not live to old age, or I'll lose all my money, or I'll be abandoned by those I love...
And maybe any one of these things that seem to render the principle null and void - the one that says that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord - really is activating the principle most completely and perfectly.
Because it might still be for my good - this thing that seems so terrible.
Moreover, it might be good for another - for many others - who are also called according to His purposes and love Him as much as I do. Maybe even more than I do.
We are an ecclesial people.
And the narcissistic glasses must come off. For the good of the Church. For the good of the whole world.