Have you ever dropped the ball? Not intentionally, but–have you ever had a situation where you were doing exactly what you thought you were supposed to be doing, but unbeknownst to you, something was going on behind the scenes that you would never have let happen had you been aware of, and now it’s too late because the damage has been done–and, quite honestly, you’re not quite sure what to do at this point?
“…Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?” (Matthew 13:27 NLT)
Life happens. Let’s face it–sometimes even really bad things. It’s like the quote taken from Robert Burns’ poem says, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” That’s because life isn’t perfect, we aren’t perfect, and others aren’t perfect. And it’s particularly aggravating when we mean well–when our intentions are good.
The fact of the matter is that we do the best we can, but sometimes we just don’t have the foresight to understand that what’s about to happen isn’t what we were hoping for. Or, we trust a person who betrays our trust. And, the frustrating thing is that most of the time we don’t even have a clue until the damage has already been done.
This can happen in multiple ways. The most obvious and abhorrent example is trusting someone with your children who abuses them, but it can also occur when we release our children into any environment we believe is good for them, only to find out years later that bad seeds were planted there.
Maybe we sent them to school and they decided evolution was scientific and Christianity isn’t, and they turned away from Jesus. Maybe they made bad friends and picked up language and behavior we never taught them. Maybe they began smoking or even got into drugs. Maybe we invested everything into them, but now we’re not even sure we know them anymore. How should we respond–what can we do?
The first thing we should do is remember what God says: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:9-10 NIV) Or, as Winston Churchill is attributed to have said, “Never give up.”
And pray. A lot. God tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)
And that’s what we ultimately want, isn’t it–the peace of God? It’s what we get when we realize that regardless of what terrible (or not quite so terrible) things happen to us, our spouse, our children, our parents or anyone else in our lives, “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV11) And that’s a promise. In all things God works for the good of those who love Him.
(1) So, by the power I have through Christ, I will not be weary in doing good because He has promised me that at the proper time I will reap a harvest if I don’t give up.
(2) I will, furthermore, not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, I will present my requests to God.
(3) And, most of all, I will know that in all things God works for my good because I love Him.
Because if I say I believe in Him I must really believe in Him!
Heal my situation! Help me be Your instrument, and work all things for good and to Your glory! Amen.