I recently watched Facing the Giants for the first time. I understand why a lot of people like it. My heart was warmed and I even shed a tear or two. At the same time I struggled with the underlining message of trust in God and everything will go your way. To be honest with you I found myself angry when the coach prayed and everything in his life didn’t simply work to the good, but everything was good. He got a new truck when his car broke down, his wife got pregnant when she wasn’t suppose to be able to get pregnant, and his team went from the worst to the best in one season even winning the state championship.
As a follower of Jesus this has not always been my experience. My sister’s two year old son died, even after we prayed for God to spare his life. My daughters college sweetheart died of cancer in spite of the fact that his mom has a robust faith and my daughter prayed for him. Now she has a new boyfriend with new dreams of a life together and he left yesterday for Afghanistan. Go figure? I’ve got some good friends that have been trying to get pregnant for years and to no avail. The list goes on and on. People who follow Jesus are loosing jobs, getting cancer, getting addicted, experiencing broken relationships, just to name a few.
Jesus told us straight up that in this world we would have plenty of trouble, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34). That’s right each day has enough trouble of its own! That’s a pretty bold statement.
That’s why my relationship with Jesus doesn’t depend on everything going my way. What I do know is that “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). All things aren’t good, they simply aren’t, but at the same time they do work to the good. Something good can come out of any and everything. I can trust Jesus with my life even when it doesn’t go my way.
At the same time Jesus keeps showing up in my life doing the darnest things. On Tuesday night my wife was headed to the airport to pick up our daughter who was flying in with a group of young people from Madrid. The alternator whet out in the vehicle in one of the most vulnerable and dangerous places on I-85. She immediately called me, 911, and AAA. As she was hanging up the phone, praying that she would not be hit by one of the many large trucks that was missing her by mere inches as they past, a wrecker pull in front of her. Make a long story short. The wrecker driver saw her in a vulnerable position stopped, happen to be with AAA, and in a few moments were towing her home. I don’t know about you, but I have waited for hours for AAA and she was on her way in five minutes. That’s strange. She calls it her Guide Post story.
On another occasion my son was in an ambush where they took a direct hit from a rocket. With the driver down and bleeding, he had to peel out of the humvee in a defensive posture providing cover for the injured driver. Out of the four of them caught in the double ambush he was the only one who walked away after laying down 180 rounds with his M4. He took fire with no barrier from two directions and never got a scratch. That’s weird. I remember telling him I thought he had experienced a miracle.
While we can not control God like we would a Genie in a bottle, he does care for us and at time choose to intervene and show us his great favor. At the same time even when it doesn’t go my way he is with me and he brings good out of it. That’s why I can trust him no matter what. He never leaves me or those he forsake me.