“And 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
He looked straight at me, completely emotionless, and asked, “Are you sick or are you fat
because you eat too much?” A few months later, I saw him again and told him he was the rudest
person I’d met in a long time. He flatly responded saying, “You know, all things work together
for the Glory of God and the good of mankind.” I wanted to punch him in the nose both times. I
didn’t, though. I had no desire to get arrested and thrown in jail because of this idiot. Clearly, in
retrospect, grace was at work, too.
Often, people issue platitudes referencing this verse to make the other person feel better – or
worse! It comes off sounding like spiritual laziness. “Don’t sweat it, it’s all going to be alright,”
or “God knows I am a moron but he likes me anyway.” All of this fails in bringing the truth to
the forefront: Only God has the power to bring good out of bad – He’s the One who transforms
Good Friday into Resurrection Day. People who are suffering are never helped by rudeness or a
holier than thou attitude. The sufferer will dismiss such counsel as nonsense and throw the
spiritual caregiver out the window … bringing me back to this: Absolutely nothing good is going
to happen after telling a woman she’s fat.
The key words in this verse are: “who have been called according to His purpose.” This call is
two-fold. First, as disciples, we must respond to God’s grace, His calling, His gift of Christ and
the Holy Spirit, His gift of revealing knowledge and understanding of what is happening.
Second, we must accept His invitation to be one of “the called according to His purpose.” This
does not mean just receiving the invitation, it means actually opening the invitation, responding
to it, and saying “yes.” (Matthew 22:14)
So, you see, not punching that guy in the nose was a good thing for him – and for me, too.
Walking in grace is hard sometimes. Remembering to display spiritual manners can be tough at
times. I often have to remind myself that God loves all His kids – even the ones who have fallen
away from Him as I did years ago. He brought me back to Him, and it’s in prayer and grace that
I can be a walking example of His love and grace – and bring others back to Him, too. Invitations
are waiting to be opened and accepted!
Thank you, Father God Almighty, for sending out invitations to serve you and patiently waiting
for us to open them! All Glory and Honor to You always and forever. Amen