We might not always understand why we experience hard and hurtful circumstances and relationships in life. I certainly don’t. At least not in their entirety as to the timing or duration or frequency or who or what is involved. Yet, one of the things that helps me to stop asking why – even when my heart is breaking over the hard and hurtful experiences in my life or in the lives of those I love – is to remember that we live in a broken world.
Most of us would agree that, of course, this world is not perfect. Yet, when we experience the reality of this broken world – in the form of betrayal, abuse, illness, death, job loss, status loss, unfair or cruel treatment, disappointment over unmet hopes and dreams – we often react with a certain measure of shock and spend much of our energy asking why. And sometimes the only answer to “the why” we may ever get on this side of heaven is that this is a broken world. Filled with broken people (like me) who, because of our sins, can cause deep brokenness in the lives of others. But! That is not where God intends to leave any of us! Ever.
Whatever our hard and hurtful experiences or circumstances or relationships may have been, or are right now, we need to let God have the last Word! We need to allow God’s good and transforming intentions have more power over us than the meanness and evil, sadness and injustice of this broken world and all of its broken people.
We need to trust and embrace – and be embraced by – God’s love and peace, grace and truth as the authoritative power over our minds, our hearts, our actions, our talk and our self-talk. God will never ask us to deny how hurtful and hard our experiences and circumstances are, but He asks us to let Him give us His power and perspective to transform them into something that will reveal God’s goodness and transforming love.
I have no doubt that God hates sin and that He always hated the abuse I experienced because of the sin choices made against me within my family. No matter what my abusers’ intentions were, God never intended to leave me in a state of brokenness. Instead, through the love and forgiveness of Jesus, every shred of power has been ripped away from the abuse and from my abusers. God’s good and transforming intentions were, and are, to take away the power (not necessarily the experiences) of all things hard and hurtful so that they would no longer destroy or diminish me. In any way. In Christ all is forgiven. And I am set free.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. – Genesis 50:20
Our God is able to take all our hard and hurtful, ugly and evil experiences – even if we don’t understand “the why” – and use them to unveil His amazing beauty. God is able to fully transform all things that others intended for evil into uncompromising evidence of God’s good intentions and unfailing love for us. And we are set free to let others know about the truth of God’s eternal love, the power of forgiveness, the gift of salvation and the fullness of healing and life offered through our Lord Jesus Christ!