“ALL Things?”

It always starts the same way. “Mom, you should try this!” . . . (this food, this game, this book, this enormously incredibly very high water slide) . . . and then I try it and I’m glad I listened (except for sushi). Years ago they said, “Mom you need an email address. . . so then they got me one . . . and I’m glad I listened to them. Another time I was told, “Mom, you should try Starbucks!” . . . they sort of regret that one. Now it’s, “Mom, you need a blog!” So . . . they set one up, slapped my favorite snapshot on the front of it and said, “Write!”. . .

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

I actually didn’t write that. But, since God has been trying to teach me about this kingdom principle for some time (which is a nice way of saying ‘a long time’), it’s what’s on my mind. The truth is that one word in this verse keeps tripping me up. It’s the word ‘all’. Does all really mean “all”? In the dictionary the word all means: everything, all inclusive, nothing left out , which is what I thought. God could have chosen to use any word He wanted to in that spot, but He said all! He could have said, “most things”, or “some things”, or “pretty much everything”, but He said all things. When I say all of the time, I usually mean all of the time except if some unexpected thing happens, in which case, I now mean not all of the time but most of the time. But there is no ‘unexpected thing’ for God. So, it just means all: everything, all inclusive, nothing left out. I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that God just says exactly what He means to say. All things work together for good . . . it just means that anything that happens to us, whether we can totally comprehend it at the time or not, can potentially, in His hands, result in something that He calls good.

In A Tale of Three Kings, Gene Edwards describes King David’s childhood. As the youngest male, he was given the job of tending the family’s sheep, which required days, sometimes even weeks alone on a hillside away from home. Time to practice his music, his rock slinging, his leadership skills (albeit with sheep) and intimacy with God. All things which God knew David would need to fulfill his destiny. There must have been days when David felt forgotten as he worked alone – no one to talk to for extended periods – feeling no sense of greatness in his future. But God was working out ‘all things’.

Joseph was raised as the favorite of 12 sons. Showered with favor (and a techni-color coat), he never had to work or shoulder his load, as his brothers had always been expected to do. He was snatched from easy street, sold into slavery, falsely accused, thrown into prison, and then left there for what seemed to be waaaaaay too long for anything good to come of it. Talk about feeling forgotten! I think it would have been difficult for Joseph to believe that his future held any “greatness” after 13 years in a dungeon. But God knew what was required to change a spoiled son into a man of greatness and leadership, which was Joseph’s destiny from before the foundation of the world!

As off the chart as those situations were, we believe them because now we see the whole picture in its entirety. It’s easy to see, now, how God carefully (not randomly or forgetfully) orchestrated all things in their lives in order to cultivate holiness in his servants and for them to walk in ALL that He had planned for them.

Now comes the hard part. What does it take for us to see our lives with those kind of eyes? How do we learn to trust God to use all things in our life for His purpose? And, what falls in the category of “all things”? Does losing your job qualify as “all things”? What about a difficult illness or a drug problem? What about abundance? What about lack? What about surviving abuse or losing a child or divorce or running out of gas? What if two computers, one laptop, one TV, and your car battery all die in a three day period? (last week – not kidding) Will God cause all of these things to work together for good? Well, it’s that or He’s forgotten me. (I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua1:5). Is He working out all things or does He just not care? (I have loved you with an everlasting, unending love. Jeremiah 31:3) . Is he orchestrating “all things” in my life, or is everything just dumb luck with no plan? (I know the plans I have for you . . . to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11) Hmmmm. . . I may not be able to wrap my brain around why God allowed all of the brokenness from last week (electronically speaking), or why He’s allowed any other less-than-pleasant thing into my life, but I can ask Him to teach me to trust that He knows what He’s doing with all things! 🙂

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13 Responses to ““ALL Things?””

  1. Claire Says:

    “all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. ALL THINGS. Including two computers, one laptop, one TV, and your car battery ALL dying in a three day period. lol, that was a fun week!!!. Great post Mommy!!!!

  2. Renee Says:

    “ALL THINGS” You write with great wisdom. I’ve been with you for some of those “things”. And thank God you’ve been with me on some of my things. Looking back over the 20 years of our friendship, that God has given us, I see he lets us have support for each other in the “BAD THINGS”. We have each other to rejoice with in the “GOOD THINGS”.

    Thanks for that reminder,
    Love, Your Friend

  3. Stephanie Says:

    Love hearing what the Lord is showing you! Please write more. I’m glad to have a blog to look forward to. One of my favorites has stopped.

    Tonight at dinner we were asked by the kids, did God create good and evil. So we talked about what evil is. Evil generated by the enemy vs things we perceive to be evil. Things we think are evil because we feel negatively affected may not be evil. Then we talked about Jesus learning obedience through the things he suffered. His suffering had purpose for Him and ultimately for us. We reminded the boys that if Jesus learned through suffering—how much more so do we need to learn obedience through suffering.

  4. Stephanie Says:

    Uhhh…I didn’t not comment at 1 am…but at 8 pm. I’m usually asleep at 1 am.

  5. Amy Says:

    Nice to have another Ferrara on the web. Great post

  6. jturn Says:

    Ohmygosh!!!!!!!!! That was AMAZING! I can already tell that I’m going to like this blog! Keep up the stupendous work! :]

  7. Amy Grant Says:

    Darnelle! You have a blog!

    I really enjoyed reading this… Great first post girl! You must write more!!!

  8. amandagraeser Says:

    Great blog! I am looking forward to reading more. You have an awesome gift of writing!

  9. Tommie Sanders Says:

    I really enjoyed your blog (I found it doing a search for Roman 8:28 on google..lol). I hope you don’t mind, but I copied and pasted it on my yahoo360 (bamasweetbabe2). I pasted the link to your blog as well. You are a very good writer and convey what you want to say very well. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Tommie Sanders Says:

    I really enjoyed your blog (I found it doing a search for Roman 8:28 on google..lol). I hope you don’t mind, but I copied and pasted it on my yahoo360 (bamasweetbabe2). I pasted the link to your blog as well. You are a very good writer and convey what you want to say very well. Thanks for sharing!
    http://360.yahoo.com/bamasweetbabe2 is my yahoo page. I can delete it if you would like. I should have asked you first, but hindsight is 20/20. I just posted it so it hasn’t been up long.

  11. carole Says:

    I need to read that book, “A Tale of Three Kings” I heard it was great.

    We started homeschooling E this year, life has changed a lot but, like you said, “it’s all for the Good” because we love Him.

    Blog on Sister!

  12. fireball3316 Says:

    i did a word study on the word “all” when i was younger – looked up all the alls in teh bible using a concordance. was great. and yes, all means all. challenging. but inspiring. and i’ve read a tale of 3 kings, and it is great. love gene edwards. he sees things i’ve never seen before. oh what a challenge! thanks for sharing! blessings, fireball

  13. las chicas mas calientes Says:

    any updates coming ?

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