By Pastor Perry Aalgaard - First Lutheran Church, Milford Iowa
Romans 8:28 we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Have you ever said something to someone in a conversation that was misunderstood? I believe this verse sometimes fits into the category of being misunderstood. Many times people understand this verse as meaning all those who love God will have good things, then they are surprised when things do not go well or even go very badly in their lives.
My understanding of this verse is that in all things, the good, the bad and the really ugly, God is working and can bring something good in spite of what it appears to be. As Christians, we are not protected from bad things, but hopefully we can, in all things, find something good. Looking at the pandemic we can find lots of things to be angry about and frustrated with, but what are some good things happening in spite of the pandemic? Take a few minutes and write down a few good things you have experienced this year that might not have happened without the pandemic.
Maybe you came up with some things, like spending more time with family, a renewed interest in the outdoors, a new appreciation for nurses and doctors or maybe being thankful for your family, friends and health.
Having the right mindset is really important in life. When we have an attitude of gratefulness, it changes how we look at ourselves and others. Think about your life and take a few minutes to write down three things which you are grateful for in your life. Please write them down. It seems like a weird thing, but taking this extra step to write down the blessings in your life can make them more concrete than just thinking about them. So take a few minutes and write down at least three things you are grateful for in your life.
Sometimes it seems easier to think about the bad things. It is easy to complain, be angry or frustrated, fearful or anxious about things rather than being grateful. When was there a time when something went wrong for you? Maybe your car broke down, you did not do well on a project or activity, you were rejected by a friend, etc. Now think about that situation. Is it possible to find something good that showed up or something you learned or changed you for the better. Bad situations are hard to deal with, and we don’t want them to ever happen. In all things, know that God is always with us. God is walking with you in each situation, working to bring something good for you. May you feel God’s presence and be able to see the good in your life!