You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
I never want to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit so I listen intently when I hear “echos”. Late this afternoon I was reading a book by my hero Charles Swindoll called “A Life Well Lived” when I found myself nodding in agreement with tears streaming down my cheeks over Genesis 50:20. Joseph had been so mistreated by his brothers and they were in fear of his new power and yet his kindness to them was astounding as he told them God had used the evil they had done to him for God’s purpose.
Joseph’s kindness spoke to me so much but also the fact that God used his brother’s actions for a better good. This book is not light fluffy reading, and, while short, it will take me some time to really read because I keep stopping to ponder things. I wanted to share this in my blog and yet it seemed kind of serious and lengthy to tell my story so I dismissed it.
Shortly after, I picked up another book I’m reading (I read a lot!) by Carol Kent called “A New Kind of Normal” and guess what verse was prominently displayed before my eyes with “mental arrows” pointing to it? Genesis 50:20! An echo for sure, so here I sit, typing out these verses, knowing they are for at least one other reader besides me.
In a nut shell, Kent shares how her life changed when her dearly loved son was sent to prison for murder. And she shares so transparently every hurt, doubt, bit of anger and negative feeling she experienced before realizing the truth of this beautiful verse. God is using the incarceration of her son to save lives! Spiritual lives, physical lives, emotional lives. She also shares many stories of others who God is using as they travel pain filled paths yet are saving the lives of others.
God has used my past to save lives that I probably won’t know all about until Heaven. And while some of it is painful to share, I do so at retreats or in small group settings. The very short version is that over the past 7 years, God has transformed me from a hurting victim of an ex husband with a pornography addiction to a woman who walks with full confidence of His love and plan for my life. He has used every bit of my pain to help others in similar situations. He is accomplishing His greater plan to save lives.
We often hear that ‘God is a God of New Beginnings’ but another little quote I love goes with it: “Every story has an end . . . but in life, every end has a new beginning.” An end to a marriage or to a friendship, a job loss, the death of a loved one can and will all be used in a new beginning if you allow God to be in first position of your life like Joseph did.
Our Heavenly Father will use every single situation that happens to bring us to the place we can accomplish the most for Him. The saving of lives: emotionally, physically and spiritually.
What kind of evil has happened to you? Can you look at it yet and say “Yes! God has used it to save lives” or are you still working through it? Know that God’s truth is for everyone of us, not just Joseph or Carol Kent. But for me and for you.
If Joseph can exhibit the full assurance that God will use all evil/hurt/sin/betrayal that is done against him, we can have that very same assurance that God will do the same for us.
Learn to be transparent and authentic and allow Him to use your own story to help others. In the process, it will help you too.
Thank You God for using every kind of situation in my life to bring me to the point I can best serve You.
Trusting in Him,