We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Whom he predestined, those he also called. Whom he called, those he also justified. Whom he justified, those he also glorified.
What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who didn't spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things? Who could bring a charge against God's chosen ones? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, yes rather, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Even as it is written, "For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter." No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:28-39 (WEB)
On February 27, 2000, a man I didn't know wheeled a lady into the church auditorium. My immediate thought was, "I bet that's Lynne." I hadn't met Lynne or her family, but she had been on the prayer list since the fireplace façade fell on her on Christmas Eve.
Danny was leading the singing. He paused, announced that Lynne had arrived, and then walked down the center aisle to her, amidst a rousing round of applause. As Danny started singing "We love you with the love of the Lord," I started singing, but I didn't get very far before the tears were streaming down my face, and I couldn't continue.
Why was I crying? I didn't know this woman. I didn't know her story. What I did know was that this congregation of people and the God they worshipped loved her very much, wanted her to know it, and I was greatly moved.
Twenty-two months later, God put Lynne and me together in a small group Bible study with her husband and some other new friends. She told me her story on Christmas Day. I went home that night and read the family's emails about the accident and the events that followed, which her brother had posted on a website. I read every email, crying through many of them.
I read of a humble woman who desires to be used of God, of a family whose faith in God upheld them in a time of great trouble, and of a spiritual family whose faith led them to demonstrate their love in numerous tangible ways. Most of all, I read of a loving God who rescued Lynne from the pit of destruction.
I was reminded once again that the God I serve loves each of his children very much and is personally involved in their lives, working all things together for the good of those who love him. God never promised that life would be easy. Jesus said we would have troubles in this world, and we certainly do. But, he also promised to be with us always, even in the midst of those troubles. And, as Paul tells us, nothing is able to separate us from the love of God--not even a collapsing fireplace facade.
Thank you, God, for not letting anything separate us from your love. Thank you for taking care of your servants, even as they walk through the valley of death or fall into the pit of destruction. Help us, Lord, to always remember that you are always with us. As we encounter trials and tribulations in this life, help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and continue to follow Him. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
God will not allow anything to separate us from His love, but we can allow sin to break the fellowship we have with Him. We must turn from sin and run to the Light of Jesus to enjoy the fellowship that God wants us to have with Him.
Copyright 2006, Star Ferdinand.
Star Ferdinand is the author of The Prayerful Bible Study Series of study guides, numerous devotionals, and other Christian writings. You can read more of her writings at starferdinand.wordpress.com.