I have been grappling, for quite some time, with the passage of Scripture that includes Romans 8:28 which states that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purposes.
All things?!!!?! I certainly love Him and definitely feel called to His purposes, but how is it that the Lord could be working all things for my good?! How is it that Judson’s death could be used for my individual good?
There is no possible personal gain I could experience here on earth that would be worth the loss of my son!!!!
And so I have wrestled, and wrestled, and wrestled…
The point could be made that God is working all things for the collective good of those who love Him, the good of the Church, capital “C”, and not necessarily the good of the individual. I have seen, in our circumstance, how God is using Jud’s life and death for the good of others, and this is certainly a blessing to us as parents. However, I’m not convinced this is the intent of this passage. The collective good may be involved here but it appears there is an individual aspect to this passage as well.
How could Jud’s death possibly be used for my good??!!!?!?
A separate point could be made that the word “all” is simply a euphemism to strongly state that God is for us, but it does not necessarily mean that every circumstance will yield “good” for the Lord’s people. With this interpretation, Jud’s death could be one of the exceptions rather than the rule. However, I firmly believe in the all-encompassing nature of this passage…“all” means “all”.
Again, how could Jud’s death possibly be used for my good??!!!?!?
It dawned on me that my struggle with this verse hinged on one word-the word “good”.
When I hear the word “good”, I tend to think of temporal gains-things that bring ease, comfort, and security in this lifetime. However, no temporal gain could possibly be worth the value of my son!!! This type of “good” could never merit Jud’s death. And it’s not that we have not had temporal good as a result of this experience, we certainly have and are very grateful for all that has come to us as a result of Jud’s death; it’s just that I’d rather have my son than all the “good” this earthly life can afford.
Therefore, if Romans 8:28 is indeed true, then apparently my understanding of the word “good” must be faulty. A paradigm shift became necessary.
What does God value as good?
Certainly not temporal gain! My Father wants to develop my eternal character. He wants my heart. He wants me to see the world through His eyes. He wants me to long for His perfect Kingdom. He wants to grow my love for Himself and others. My ultimate good, as woman intent on His purposes, is to journey into greater depths of relationship with my God and King.
To that end, it is feasible to see how the Lord can and is working all things, even Jud’s death, for my personal “good”.
And though I have begun to recognize this truth, admittedly, it is not an easy paradigm for me. I am more wrapped up in this temporal world than I want to be, and to be quite frank, eternal good rarely feels like enough. I still tend to want Jud’s death to yield an ultimate “good” that I can taste, see, and touch in this lifetime, that could satisfy my loss.
Yet, my Heavenly Father wants me to seek one thing…this is my ultimate “good”…to dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze upon His beauty and to seek Him in His temple. (Psalm 27:4) He has promised that one day in his courts is better than thousands elsewhere (Psalm 84:10), and if we love Him and are called according to His purposes, then this type of “good” is, in fact, more than enough.
Oh Lord, please begin to replace my attachment to this temporal world with all that You value as “good.” Amen.