Once, I was being evicted from my apartment.
It was a horrible time.
But I knew that God had a plan of good in my life, and that this could very well be part of the plan.
I also knew that God used bad times for good, and might have even allowed them to use for my betterment.
It was a complicated time. Still, theology is complicated for me. For the past year, my theology has shifted so much I worry I won’t be able to recognize it a year from now. Am I becoming Calvinist? NOPE! But, I do think God has a plan for our lives. I believe he ordains a plan of goodness for our lives, which includes using bad stuff for our goodness.
God does not ordain pain. He just allows it and uses it for his greater purpose.
When I was being evicted, I knew God has a plan of goodness for my life. I knew he was using this as part of his plan, his teaching for me, his ultimate goal. What is his ultimate goal for me now? I think it is to become a pastor and chaplain, who is resilient to housing troubles and can be of help to those in the throngs of eviction.
Eviction is a terrible experience. Let’s face it, it’s a b*tch. I wouldn’t wish that on my enemy.
I’m still Arminian – I just believe in both God’s sovereignty and our free will. I do believe we can’t mess up God’s plan for our lives – I think he just hits the “reroute” button on his “god desk.” Plus, I’m hoping that our rerouting is God’s plan of goodness all along. God, knowing all things from past, present, and future, uses our future decisions and upsets as part of his “plan” to help us get to a better future, one we couldn’t have imagined at all.
God does not ordain, cause, or wish the bad stuff. Yes, the bad stuff could have been used for our good, but I don’t think God could plan bad things for us at all. He just uses the bad for good.
What good came out of my eviction? Resiliency, I’m sure of that. Other than that, a positive attitude in times of trouble, because I know one way or another: God is always there helping. No matter what, God’s got my back someway, somehow.
He’s the all powerful God and we’re semi-powerful human beings; beings that have made choices that altered history forever (i.e. Holocaust, 9/11).
And the multiple times the Bible speaks of God ordaining believers or events before the beginning of the Earth? An explanation in hindsight that comforted the Jews and early church. To them, if God ordained all this bad stuff, then it was okay.
I imagine we are still giving ourselves that explanation – even I still do it.
But I remember: God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good. Forever and ever.
Alleluia and Amen.