I’m sitting in the parking lot of the hospital. I can’t go in with my wife because of restrictions. The parking lot is full of other people, also sitting. Also waiting. Also not able to go in. There is an “Expecting Mothers” section and the spaces are all filled. The sign has a very pregnant woman with a heart in the womb. There is a lot going on this morning at the hospital. Surgical procedures, dying patients, newborn patients. There are big tents set up for coronavirus testing. And those of us who sit in the parking lot and wait. A dragonfly keeps buzzing past my car. I haven’t seen a single bird all morning, which is odd. It looks like it’s going to rain and it’s getting hot. My brother lives in Texas, right on the gulf. He and his family evacuated and are safe and sound. My dad texted me and told me his dog died. It was really my Mom’s dog, but Rupp outlived her by a couple years.
Everything I see around me has a story. Every parking lot-waiter has a loved one inside and every parked car has a story. Some have “minor” surgery, defined as any surgery I’m not having, while others are clinging to life. Still others wait for that precious baby to be born. Every person that’s walking by here is here for a different reason, and to them, it’s the most important.
All of our stories have intertwined this morning and we are all here today for one reason or another, but all for God’s reason. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28. Even that dragonfly, that can’t seem to decide what it wants, came into this world at God’s time and has avoided getting zapped, squished, eaten, or sprayed so he could annoy me in my car for the glory of the Lord in His might work of providence. God works all things together. Every event in the world, big or small. Every sickness and every birth. Every storm cloud, every drop of rain. It all works together, in one glorious tapestry of Sovereignty. Why do bad things happen? That’s not a question I can answer. But I don’t assume there is only one reason why anything happens.
Maybe my wife is in surgery and I write about it, so you can read about it and be comforted, if you know Christ, that everything is working out, together, according to God’s plan, for my good. There is no such thing as suffering without a purpose for God’s people. This verse is not a lesson in stoicism. It’s a comfort to the children of God, who love and are loved, enduring trials as part of His master plan, for our ultimate joy in Him. Life usually doesn’t work out like I want it, but it works together for good.