A very wise woman of the previous generation, whose counsel I hold dear, has a favourite verse, and that is Romans 6:28. That all things work for good for those who God loves. But at times it is hard to hold in times of oppression: when many are claiming that the gospel is hateful and oppressive. We cannot understand why things are as they are: it is the question of Job, and there is no particular answer.
But this I also know: we will all have times of struggle and difficulty. And this also: at times I do not know how to pray. But in this time, and any time, finds meaning when we have no words.
26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
If we are to be conformed into the image of Christ, we will have to be changed. Lewis said that this was not as much to be a clone of Christ, but to truly be ourselves. To not lie about what we are, and how we are weak, how we are strong, and how in our lives we have made beauty. This is most often in the ordinary way, by making a family, raising children, and building a life together.
For most of us, this is enough. We learn to be content. There are enough challenges in this.
But the lie of this time is that this is not enough. We must in some manner be famous, be special. I have not seen the full measure of that hell, but what I have experienced tells me that this is something to devoutly avoid.
For if we do not do God’s good will, we will be corrected. The spirit whispers, (again I am paraphrasing Lewis): pain shouts.
For this I know. The length of our plans is too short. God thinks of eternity, not this instance. And I also know this storm will pass. All things will be made to work our God, and this is the by the grace of God.
It is not our doing. Do not be them that claim that it is their virtue.