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The God of Evil

"...there is no situation--no breakage, no loss, no grief, no sin, no mess--so dreadful that out of it God cannot bring good, total good, not just "spiritual" good, if we will allow him to."*
Catherine Marshall wrote this after her beloved husband died unexpectedly at 46 years of age. That knowledge and belief was neither an immediate thought upon his death nor an easy thing to accept but she kept her ears open to God during her grief and listened to what he told her.

One thing she did at God's request was to list everything in her life "that seems less than good, that you would like to see changed." She filled five pages. Then God told her to praise him for every item on the list.

Wow! I tried that just now and though I was able to praise God despite the bad things, I found it hard, if not impossible, to praise him for the bad things. How does one do that?

Marshall had trouble with this too. When she asked God about it, he answered, "I am Lord over all--good and evil. You start praising. I'll supply the understanding."

The section I'm currently reading in Connecting with God is about "Perceiving God in Circumstances." Do we see God only in the good we experience, or are we able to see God in the painful, the hurtful, the ugly, the inconvenient, the tragic? The more we are able to see God at work, even in the evil and unwelcome, the more we'll be able to participate with him in his work.

Lord, open my eyes, please, so that I can see your hand in all things around me. Thank you that you are in control of everything and that you make all things work together for good for those who love you. So be it.



*Catherine Marshall as quoted in Connecting with God: A Spiritual Formation Guide by Renovaré. (p.58, 59)

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Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.












You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.























You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.


















You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
song
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…