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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Irritated Passengers

"Take me there" we say to our taxi and Uber drivers. We call on them to help us out and get us somewhere. We give them permission to take us.

But some immediately lack confidence in their driver the minute the journey starts. Though there is paperwork to prove he is certified to get them there, some passengers still question the driver's ability and doubt his decision-making. The passengers might begin to complain that he's going too fast, or going too slow, or taking a route that they don't prefer. Even at the end of the trip, after the driver has proven himself by safely taking them to their destination, the passengers may still continue to complain - not because the driver didn't do his job and get them to their destination, but because the passengers weren't the ones calling the shots along the way. For the passengers, it wasn't just about getting there, it was about getting there their way. It was about being in control through the process.

Many of us have spoken similar words to the Driver of our lives. We pray sincere and earnest prayers with strong words like, "Take me there. Take my life. Have your way." It's a bold prayer to say to a God that is willing to actually take us up on the offer.

And for some of us, the trip of Him getting us there might look something like this...

We excitedly jump into the passenger's seat as He whisks us off to our destination. At first we have full trust in our Driver until....until we notice He just made a left at an intersection that we would have gone straight at. We try to relax in our seats, but we watch as He continues to make choices we would never make and starts going down roads we would naturally avoid. Suddenly, He slows down completely because He says there is much to see at this point in the journey. He tells us it's best if we move a little slower because He doesn't want us to miss anything. We grow impatient as we check our watches and wonder if He has actually forgotten completely about the original destination we were headed toward. Irritation begins to rise up inside of us and we decide to call our friends and complain all about it.  

We say, "This is so annoying! I thought this trip would be fun but all it's doing is irritating me! I don't know where He's going. I don't know what He's doing. He's taken me down so many unfamiliar roads, I can't even tell you where I actually am right now! AHHH!"

Our friends nod their heads and reassure us that we're actually in really Good Hands. They've had similar trips with the Driver and they say He's always pulled through. He never let them down and we can be confident He won't let us down. He's the best Driver on the planet and there is no one better that we can trust.

We shake our heads as we hang up, still unsure about this whole thing, as the Driver turns around and says with a smile, "Don't worry, I didn't forget where we're going. We'll get there. I promise." We realize He just overheard everything we said.

Then He suddenly guns the gas and speeds His way past all the other drivers. He redeems the time as He quickly maneuvers us through the back roads He just took us down. We tighten our seat belts as we lean back in our seats. We're pleased that at least we're not feeling stagnant anymore, but the irritation remains as He is now moving faster than what we prefer. "Can't He just find a pace that maybe I'M comfortable with?? GEESH!" we mumble under our breaths.

He looks in the rear view mirror and says again with a smile, "The best thing for you to do is rest those tired eyes of yours, my friend. Ya know, there is rest in this journey." We are worn out by our own anxiety.

In the end, the Driver gets us there. There's no question about that. He has lived up to all His Promises along the way and hasn't let us down. But just like the passengers that exit the taxi or the Uber, we still find ourselves agitated. We realize then, for us, it wasn't just about getting there and provision being made, it was about getting there our way. It was about being in control through the process.

We step back and realize that we had forgotten the conversation we had with God before the trip started. We were the ones that said, "Here I am God. I am yours. Take my life. Take me there." And that was exactly what He did. He only answered the very prayers that came out of our mouths.

God will always get us there. He's faithful to get the job done. But He'll get it done His way, not ours. And just as we can't tell our taxi or Uber drivers (or bus drivers or airplane pilots) how to do their jobs, we can't try to tell God how to do His. And, honestly, why would we want to, anyway? He's the Professional. He's the One that's gone before us and has driven the trip already. He's the One that knows where He's going and the best way to get there. We'd be doing ourselves a big favor, then, if we just let go of trying to control Him and let Him do what He does best - be our God.

Friday, July 28, 2017

First Thought, First Commandment

I love when I wake up in the morning and my first thought of the day is Him. It's like God gets Himself first in line for my attention, as if He's been waiting outside the door all night like we do at stores on Black Friday to be the first to catch the great deals. He's like a little kid excited to get the day started with me to start loving on me, showing me more about Himself, and working through me to love on the world. One thing I know - I never wake up to find Him frowning on me or with crossed arms and a tapping foot hoping that today, just maybe today, I'll pull my act together. My goodness, no. If I ever do wake up with those thoughts, I can be sure that those are not His thoughts toward me.

As I opened my eyes this morning, He reminded me of the most important Commandment.

"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
all your soul, and all your mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment. " Matthew 22:37 NLT

He reminded me again that there is no pressure in my relationship with Him. What He is looking for from me today is the same thing He's always been looking for - my attention (my mind), my affection (my soul), and my whole heart. He is a Daddy, not a drill sergeant who's looking for me to follow a whole bunch of rules. Similar to how I felt when my children were first born. I didn't look at them and think, "Well, I hope this kid lives up to my standards." Of course not. What I was thinking was, "Wow, how beautiful. I can't believe she's mine. All I want for her is the very best and that she will love me and love others." I suppose that might actually be the very thoughts God has when He sees me.

He reminded me too, that He has cleared a path for us to Himself. Because Jesus died for our sins, we don't have to hurdle over anything to get to our Father. We have a straight shot to the throne room. There are no obstacles between us and our Daddy's lap. We can run up to Him anytime, anywhere. He loves us so much and His goal is for us to realize that we not only must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind... but we can and we get to, love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. What freedom and joy we have when we realize that! We have free and unlimited access to the Father. We can talk to Him, love on Him, include Him in everyday affairs. We can laugh with Him, cry with Him, and be absolutely 100% ourselves with Him. It's easy to follow the First Commandment when we realize we have the freedom to.

Bottom line, God didn't make a way for us to have relationship with Him only to make it difficult for us to love Him. EASY ACCESS is His motto. And that's a great first thought to have each morning.

Monday, July 24, 2017


Some things in life you just have to think ahead for. If the air conditioning in my house dies, it's not wise of me to wait for the summer heat to kick in to consider fixing it. I need to do the necessary steps in advance to ensure that when summer does come, I'm ready for it. What regret I will feel if I wait!

The Bible talks about being ready for things in advance - like the storms and troubles in life. God does not delight in seeing people destroyed by the storms. So He tells us the necessary steps to take so that when the storms do come, we aren't destroyed by them. His Wisdom is like a Voice crying out in the streets saying, "Build your life on Me, the Firm Foundation! So when the storms come, your life will not be swept away by them!"

The Bible also tells us to be ready for an amazing event that has yet to the place - His Second Coming. One day, He will crack the sky and come back, just as He promised. We can count on it - even more than we can count on the summer heat hitting in the middle of July. The Bible tells us that He will come so quickly, we won't have time to repent and turn back to Him in that moment. He will come as a thief in the night, in the twinkling of an eye. We cannot wait until the moment of His Arrival to then decide whether we want to be part of His precious flock. We must decide now and be ready for Him. 

But listen, God isn't trying to scare us into a relationship with Him. He is just telling us very plainly what we can expect, because He loves us and He doesn't want to see us crying out to Him on that Day and wishing we had come to Him sooner.

So, as we consider all the preparations we make in life such as being ready for the seasons to change, and the holidays to come, and the retirement to happen... Let us consider the most important preparation of all...our life beyond this earthly one. 

‭‭“For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near. “Immediately after the anguish of those days, 

the sun will be darkened, 

the moon will give no light, 
the stars will fall from the sky, 
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 

And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world —from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. 

"Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, 

but my words will never disappear. 

"However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 

"When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. 

"Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; 

one will be taken, the other left. 

"So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 

Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, 
he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. 
You also must be ready all the time, 
for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:27-44‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Caring and Moving

Getting people to care is always the hardest part. We can promote our cause and try to make people do what we say until the cows come home, but if people don't care, we are wasting our breaths. So we have to begin there. We get people recycling, for example, by showing them the destruction it has on our wildlife when we don't. We hope that this will get people concerned and taking responsibility for their trash. Or, in order to convince people to start taking care of their bodies, we show them the long term effects that neglect can have on us like sickness, cancer, or even death. We hope this does the trick and gets people caring about their health. We understand that in order to get people willingly moving, we must first get them caring. 

Jonah was one who suffered with a caring deficiency. God had a special assignment meant just for him - to go tell the people of Nineveh to repent or they will be destroyed. But instead of obeying, he went the other way and consequently found himself sleeping with the fishes - literally! What Jonah lacked was not competence or a sensitivity to hear the Voice of God. What Jonah lacked was heart. To put it plainly, He simply did not care about the people of Nineveh.

Well, we know how the story ends. Jonah eventually does what God asked Him to do, but even then his heart was still stuck in selfish land and continued to lack true concern for the thousands that God had just spared. So God used a simple illustration of a plant to get Jonah thinking and maybe even caring.

This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”

The Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?”

Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see what would happen to the city. And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant.

But God also arranged for a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant so that it withered away. And as the sun grew hot, God arranged for a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah. The sun beat down on his head until he grew faint and wished to die. “Death is certainly better than living like this!” he exclaimed.

Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”

"Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”

Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals.
Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”

‭‭Jonah‬ ‭4:1-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God was basically saying to Jonah, "Look, I need you thinking outside your own little world. You're more torn apart by your own discomfort than you are with the fact that thousands of people were about to die. If you care for something that is here today and gone tomorrow, how much more do you think I care (and I'm trying to get you to care) about those people living in spiritual darkness?"

Wow. Jonah knew then that God was not just looking for his obedience, he was looking for a changed heart. God knew that if He could get Jonah caring, He could get him moving - not reluctantly, but willingly - even to minister to people that he didn't think deserved God's mercy.

And God still speaks this same message to us. He's says, "Who will care? Who will be concerned about the millions of people that don't know Me? Who will care enough to weep for them? Who will care enough to pray for them? Who will care enough to go to them and tell them about My Love, about My Son??"

God knows, He needs us caring to get us willingly moving.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Really Listening?

I'm telling you, I have no recollection of it. My husband said, "OK, so I'm heading out now." To which I responded, "Where?" And he said, "Remember, I told you yesterday..." as he went on to explain that we had an entire conversation about his plans. He said I agreed and nodded and seemed engaged in the conversation. Yikes! Where in the world was my head during that conversation? Knowing me, I was distracted with something else and I was just in auto pilot during our conversation. I wasn't really listening, I was just going through the motions of listening. I obviously didn't retain a word. Apparently, it's easy for me to act like I'm listening, but in reality, I'm not. 

If I've listened like that to my husband, I wonder how many times the Lord has talked to me and I've gone into auto pilot with Him. I might nod and say, "yes" but His Word never really breaks the surface of my heart and makes its way down.

There's a big difference between hearing God and listening to God. Many go to church each week and hear the Word of God, for example. They nod and say 'yes, Amen' but, just like I was on auto pilot with my husband, they, too, are not listening. Listening to the Word involves a yielding of our hearts and a willingness to line up our thinking and actions with what God is saying. Listening will eventually bring about much fruit because we are pairing what we have heard with faith and obedience.

So the question of the day is this: Are you really listening? Are you not just hearing the Word, but also doing what it says? Are you letting it penetrate the surface of your heart to let it transform you? Are you listening with an open mind and ready to change your thinking if anything doesn't line up with His Word? God is in the business of changing and transforming lives, but He needs us to not just hear Him, but to listen.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Dining Hall

He threw open the Door and let me in.

"What a grand welcome for a peasant girl like me." I thought to myself. He didn't seem to see me, though, as the poor gal that was just begging for bread on the streets just moments before. He acted like He already knew me and I was no poor gal at all. With an overflowing excitement, He put His arm around me and ushered me straight to His Dinner Table.

"You must be starved." He said with a smile and a twinkle in His eye that never seemed to fade. "I only serve the best to all who come in. So I'm sure you'll enjoy it all. Help yourself to anything that fancies you. And if we eat everything on the Table, I'll simply bring out more. So don't hold back!"

My eyes could barely take it all in as I looked down the unusually long Table. It was a feast for a thousand, but we were the only two at the Table. He could tell I was taken back by the huge spread and said, "Don't worry. Nothing will be wasted. My Food isn't perishable because it has Life inside itself. Eat up!"

I lifted my spoon (that actually seemed to lift itself toward me) and reached for what looked like pudding. My first mouthful brought a sort of unexplainable, instant relief. It felt like it was the first time I had ever tasted actual, real food. By my second spoonful, I was convinced of it. I had never eaten anything like this. It was like this Food was what I was created to eat. How did I live without it for so long?

Taking His advice, I dug right in. I couldn't always identify each item of Food I picked up. The ingredients didn't look like anything I had ever seen grown in any garden. They were unique, like something from another world.

He noticed how quickly I was eating and said with a smile,"You like it?"

With a mouthful of Food, I nodded vigorously as I shoved another mouthful in on top of what was already there.

And that's when He started to Laugh. Oh boy. And did He. It was a Laugh so loud that at first it made me jump and the table jolt. It was a Laugh that vibrated through my whole being. It was a Laugh that lasted longer than a normal laugh. It was more like waves of Laughter as it shook the atmosphere around us and sent electric shock waves through my heart as if I was under a defibrillator. Suddenly a rush of pure, unadulterated Joy pulsed in and out of my body. As He laughed even more, I could feel it bubbling inside me. At first it was subtle like butterflies in my stomach. But the more He laughed, the more it bubbled up in me. And it bubbled up...and up...and up...until suddenly I felt it lifting me. Yes, literally. It started lifting me out of my chair! Then the bubbling suddenly felt like rushing water springing up from inside me and it caused me to rise upward until I felt as if I was being balanced on top of a huge geyser! I looked over and saw His eyes were bright and beautiful, full of Love for me. I knew in that moment just how much He truly adores me. How elated beyond words He was to have me at His table! He took my hand and laughed even louder! And then I began to laugh! His Laughter became my laughter! And there we both sat just laughing and eating and laughing and eating for what seemed like moments but what was really probably hours.

"I have so much more to show you in my House!" He said through His bright smile. "Would you like the full tour?"

"Oh yes!" I responded with a huge grin. "I can only imagine what's in store for me to see in Your House. If it is anything like this Dining Hall, I know I'm in for an amazing time!"

"There are many rooms and many adventures in each one! Come, I'll show you!" He said, as He swept me down the long Hallway that led deeper into His Home, His Joy, His Heart. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Candles In A Power Outage

There is nothing like a power outage to make us appreciate the candles we have in our house in a whole new way. As the sun goes down and darkness sets in, we look at our lamps and sigh as we pull out all the candles we can find in the house and light them. The light brings instant relief to us because now we can see. 

We're not ashamed of our candles. We don't close our curtains because we don't want our neighbors to know we have candles. That would be ridiculous. And if someone knocks on our door, we don't quickly hide the candles or blow them out to conceal the fact that we are lighting our home with them. How silly would that be? Instead, we invite our neighbors in and ask if they are in need of candles themselves and freely offer them what we have. Light is never something to be embarrassed about.

In the same way, the Light we have in our hearts as believers is an absolutely beautiful thing. The Father, Himself, has lit us like candles in a world that is suffering a terrible, massive Power Outage. We are spiritual lights in every room we enter, and offer relief from the dark to those that have no Light. We are a service to those we encounter.

And just as it would be ridiculous to conceal a natural candle, it would be silly to think we should quickly run and hide our Light from anyone who 'knocks at our door'. If we do, then we are not understanding the Light we carry. We don't see that we have been lit for a purpose - not just to light our own homes, but to also offer that Light to those who come knocking. Candles are nothing to be embarrassed about. Light is nothing to be ashamed of. 

No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. 
A lamp is placed on a stand, 
where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.
‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

View From The Airplane

Perspective can make all the difference. If I'm standing at the base of a small mountain and looked up, and someone asked me my perspective on it, I'd tell them I thought the mountain was pretty huge. I wouldn't be able to tell how huge because I would not be able to see the top or sides of it. I might be inclined to say it wasn't possible to climb or get around it. But if I were in an airplane and looked down at the same mountain, and someone asked me my perspective on it, I'd probably have a different response. I might still say it was pretty big, but maybe not as big as I thought it was when I looked at it from the ground. I would be able to see the top and sides and notice that there were hiking trails all around it and even some small cabins. The mountain that I thought was impossible to climb, is actually climbed by many and even inhabited! I never would have known that from my perspective from the ground.  

Jesus is all about perspective. He understands there are always two ways of looking at any given scenario - an earthly perspective and God's perspective. The earthly perspective is like standing at the base of the mountain and looking up. The human point of view is limited and will always calculate things incorrectly. It's based on our own wisdom, understanding, judgements, limitations, and philosophies. It can often default to the answer, "It's impossible and can not be done, or should not be done."

But God's perspective is completely opposite. His perspective is like flying above the mountain and looking down. He sees things we don't and from an eternal perspective. He sees what is True and Right. His perspective doesn't see impossibilities, it sees POSSIBILITIES. It doesn't see can'ts it sees CANs! Its answer always includes "Yes! Amen!" and "All things are possible!" 

What situations are in your life right now? How do you perceive them? You have two choices. You can look at them from a human view point or look at them from God's vantage point. But just as we can only see the mountain from above by flying in an airplane, we also can only get God's perspective when we let Him take us above it all and show us. 

If it's hard to see outside of your limited, earthly perspective, simply ask God to take you for a ride in His Airplane and show you a fresh Perspective. You might be surprised at what you see! 

"You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, 
not from God’s.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭16:23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Friday, July 7, 2017

A Woman's Influence

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” 

"Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” 

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” 

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
Genesis‬ ‭3:1-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

My husband and I will joke with each other sometimes. In playful humor he'll say, "Hey, it was a woman who got us into trouble in the first place. Eve ate us out of house and home! Haha!" 

Unfortunately, though, my husband is right. Eve was deceived, ate the fruit, and then gave the fruit to Adam. Oi! What influence she had on him because she was his beloved and he trusted her. 

As a wife, I don't always realize the effect and influence I can have on my husband. He values my opinion and listens for my perspective, and I must never forget that. I must remember Eve's mistake. In her personal life, she started listening to the wrong voice. She let herself be swept away by the enemy - away from Truth and into his den of lies. And with a mind of confusion, she acted and then influenced her husband to make the same bad choice. Not a good day in Paradise.

God values women very deeply. As wives, we are not less valuable compared to our husbands. We are equally valuable. And God has made us to come alongside our husbands and be partners - which is represented when God chose to make Eve from Adam's rib (his side). Our decisions, our perspective, and our personal relationship with God can have tremendous effect on our husbands. Like being in a three-legged race - everything one person does will directly influence the other person. 

The question for us wives then is this: What are you bringing to the table in your marriage? Are you like Eve who personally got off track and influenced her husband for evil? Or are you building your life on the Rock of Truth so that your actions are pleasing to God and your influence is always toward Love and with the fear of the Lord? Never underestimate your position of influence. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

The X Variable

X is considered a variable in Algebra. It represents a number in a math problem - a number that can change with each problem. X may equal 10 in problem one, and then equal 5 in problem six.

Life is full of variables. Income is a variable. A man can be making a comfortable income one day, and because of circumstances and unfortunate events, he can find himself five years later struggling to make ends meet. The X variable in his life changed on him.

The thing with the X variables in life is that it shouldn't be fully trusted, and we must view it as such. We must actually expect them to change at any given time. An X variable is not a rock on which we can stand on. It is more of a shifting sand under our feet. We cannot treat it as if it will never change on us. If we do, we are setting ourselves up to be highly disappointed and betrayed by it. 

Jesus tells us to build our lives on the Rock, which is Himself. He is not a variable. He is constant and unchanging. He won't be one thing for you in problem one, and then change who He is and disappoint you in problem six. 

What are you banking on in this life? Are you leaning all your weight on a Variable? If you are, beware my friend. Variables are prone to change. Put your trust and hope in the One who will never change and never disappoint you. 

Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
James‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He ALONE is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will never be shaken.
Psalms‬ ‭62:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Weeds & Storms

Some weeds are best pulled up after a good soaking rain. I will purposefully wait to weed my yard until after a storm passes through. The water moistens the hard soil and I'm able to pull out those unwanted weeds with ease.

Likewise, there are 'weeds' in our hearts that are easier to pull up after a storm passes through. It's amazing to see how trials can often humble and soften a person, if they let it. Like the grumpy old man who always wore a sour face. Nothing could pull the weed of bitterness out of him, until the storm passed through when his wife died. Suddenly he was broken and softened and the Lord was able to reach in and pull out the weed that would never budge for decades.

Storms are unavoidable. But we can take heart that when the storms do come, God will use every single raindrop for our benefit. We can totally trust the Gardener of our lives to not just see us through the storm, but to also take advantage of all the rain and pull up any weeds that will only budge after a good soaking rain.

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 ‭NIV‬‬