For we are what God has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
~ Ephesians 2:10
I recently met a person whose entire life seemed to have been filled with regrets. Life events just always seemed to end with tragedy and chaos.
Multiple relationships, never ending job searches, and disappointments just filled every decade of his life, "and now this," as he shared about his terminal diagnosis.
"When I get the chance to talk to God in heaven, I have a long list of questions to ask."
It's hard to talk about how good God is when all a person can focus on is the bad.
We all know people who just seem to have these experiences. Their lives just seem to encounter sadness.
The writer of Ephesians reminds us that we all have been created by God for specific purposes. Sometimes I have to wonder what happened when I meet people like the man I had been talking to.
I learned a long time ago that in situations like these, and with people who seem to have encountered so much loss, that defending God is the last thing they want to hear. And trying to rationalize why God would allow some things to happen can quickly lead to a dead end in the conversation.
Although God created all things and pronounced them as, "good," including humanity, we seem to have lost that goodness to generations of poor decisions that today we are left to deal with.
Pollution, wars, and the problems of the world are as close as the television, or walking to the bus stop. It's easy to allow these images to become part of our own life, never the less, the ones who are part of those images.
It can be heartbreaking for any of us.
Our need to be reminded that we are all created in an image of a God that loves each of us, must somehow find its way into a world that looks very different than the original creation. While we struggle to make sense of things when we encounter pain, there is still a God who wants us to know, "I am with you always."
The pain we encounter cannot always be explained away by saying, "It's just lart of God's plan."
We all have been created by God to serve as an instrument of that presence, and to have purpose. Our encounters of this world cannot change that. Being able to live into that purpose, even when we encounter disappointments, is what makes that purpose life-changing for us as well as others.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.