“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
In a quaint European town, there stands a centuries-old cathedral known for its exquisite stained glass windows. During World War II, the cathedral was heavily bombed, leaving it in ruins. Remarkably, the stained glass was not destroyed but scattered in countless fragments. After the war, the community gathered every shard they could find and painstakingly reassembled the windows. The restored windows were not identical to the originals but were beautiful in a new way, each piece telling a story of resilience and hope amidst destruction.
This restoration mirrors the promise in Romans 8:28. Just as the community restored the shattered glass into something beautiful, God works in our lives, transforming our trials and sufferings into something meaningful and purposeful. However, it’s essential to understand that the fruition of this promise may not always be evident in our current lives.
The apostles, who faced persecution and hardship, are quintessential examples of this. They labored not for earthly rewards but for the hope of eternal life. Their journey was fraught with difficulties, but they understood that their ultimate reward was not of this world. They walked a path that, while often painful in the present, led to eternal glory.
Likewise, we may not always see the immediate good in our challenges and tribulations. Sometimes, the ‘good’ that God is working out might not be fully realized until the next life. This perspective helps us to endure difficulties with faith and hope, knowing that our earthly trials are part of a greater narrative that culminates in eternal life.
In times of struggle or when we feel like our lives are in fragments, let’s remember the restored stained glass windows. Just as each shard contributed to a greater masterpiece, every experience in our lives is being woven into a grand tapestry, guided by God’s hand, leading to an eternal purpose beyond our understanding.
- How can I maintain hope and faith during times when God’s plan is not clear to me?
- What lessons can I learn from the apostles’ example of enduring hardship for eternal rewards?
- In what ways have I experienced or can I trust God to work all things for good, in this life or the next?
Heavenly Father, in the midst of trials and uncertainty, help me to remember that You are at work in my life, shaping my experiences for a greater purpose. Give me the strength to endure hardships, inspired by the faith and perseverance of the apostles, who looked beyond their earthly struggles to the promise of eternal life. Guide me to see the beauty in the brokenness and the hope in the restoration, trusting in Your promise to work all things for good. In Jesus’ name, Amen.