Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lukewarm Crops & Laodiceans
Part 3:
Turning Mistakes To The Good

One other thing is worth noting about our missteps with wood chips and the Laodiceans’ problems: God turned them to the good.

We certainly saw that with the wood chips. Once we started removing them we discovered that most had already decomposed, creating a layer of rich, dark, organic material. That contributed to our strong follow on crops, it will help this year’s crops, and more hungry folks will be fed with richer food. 

     Similar good came from the problems at Laodicea; Jesus’ message to that church has informed and reformed millions over the years. Indeed, a quick internet search reveals lots of sermons and commentaries, each of which helped Christ followers grow closer to Him. Those probably represent a small percentage of the good God brought out of that otherwise unfortunate situation.

We shouldn’t be surprised by that because scripture repeatedly documents that pattern. Consider Joseph; God turned his pride and his brothers’ resentment to the good by using the consequences of those bad things to put Joseph in a position to preserve God’s people (and millions of others) from a severe famine. Consider the book of Esther; God used the pushback to Mordechai’s prideful attitude towards Haman to trigger a series of events that powerfully blessed His people during their exile. Consider St. Paul; God turned his misguided zeal against the early church, and Pauls’ sincere regret of it, into a powerful example of how He can turn redeem even the most egregious sinners.

So how does that happen? We don’t know all the details, but there is one common element: the folks involved in those situations humbly submitted themselves to God, trusting His principles in bewildering circumstances. The result was good far exceeding the interim difficulties; to paraphrase St. Paul, the interim “sufferings [were] not worth comparing with the glory that [was] revealed.” Romans 8:18.

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