"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
I have had this verse memorized for probably 25 years, but it hasn't been until the last 3 years that I have really begun to process it. I have wrestled HARD with this verse, and likely will continue to do so during the course of cancer treatment.
About 2 years ago, I was sitting in a women's Bible study when this verse was quoted. It was a few months after we had experienced a "failed" or disrupted adoption plan. We had met with the young lady a couple months before she was to deliver. She was clearly struggling with the idea of placing her baby for adoption, but at the same time was telling us how much she liked our family and wanted us to adopt her baby. About 4 weeks after our meeting, we received a phone call from our social worker saying that the young lady had chosen to parent.
During that Bible study meeting, I exposed my doubts about Romans 8:28 to the ladies present. It felt so weird to express unbelief to other Christian women whom I held in such high regard, but it was good. No one condemned me for it or looked down on me. They let me wrestle while speaking words of truth into me.
I just couldn't understand how it was "good" for this baby to stay with the birth mom. Her situation was volatile. Why didn't God allow this baby to be with a stable, loving, Christian family? Where was the "good" in allowing us to get our hopes up only to be disappointed?
Months later, God graciously gave us a glimpse of the good that He brought out of these circumstances. Our social worker called us to let us know that she had heard from the young mother. She wanted to know how we were doing. She wanted us to know that we had made a big impression on her by sticking with her through the process. We had been able to show her the love of Christ. Our meeting her was not about us adopting her baby. It was simply that she could see Jesus. God had a different plan than we did. His definition of "good" was different than what we thought . His ways are higher than ours and He sees ALL.
As I muddle through cancer treatment, I wonder about the "good." My life looks so different now than before the diagnosis. My body looks different. I go out in public and everyone knows that I have cancer. I feel useless some days. I wonder what grand purpose I am supposed to fulfill for the day when I feel so yuck. I can't even take care of my kids without help. I know that it is often hard to understand and see the good in the middle of a trial, but I really want to see Jesus. I want His presence to be so real. Today, I think He is simply keeping me from falling apart. He is carrying me through this and allowing me to continue to put one foot in front of the other. He is providing for our needs as a family. Amidst the muck, the good is there,
Thank you Jesus for being good to me.