What Was Meant For Evil, God Used For Good

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A couple weeks ago, we went to church for the first time since everything was shut down due to Covid. As we were leaving, I stepped out into the parking lot and realized that so much had changed since last fall.

No one expected 2020 to go the way that it did. In some secret place of my mind, I was thinking that 2020 would be the most perfect, most brilliant year because, uh, the numbers were TWENTY-TWENTY. It was supposed to be great, right? But numbers really can’t define a year or what happens in it. I learned that that hard way.

I know a lot of us want to go back and erase 2020. Skip over it and just forget that it ever happened. But for better or worse, it did happen. The crazy unknowns that rocked our worlds will stay with us perhaps long after life goes back to normal (whatever that is).

I learned a ton this year. If my life had gone the way that I wanted it to, I wouldn’t have gained the knowledge or have the hope that I do now. Do I fully understand everything that happened? No, far from it. Can I trust that it is all part of a bigger purpose? Yes. It took me a while to be able to say that, but yes I can.

A couple years ago, I was in the darkest place mentally and emotionally that I had ever been. I was miserable and angry and I really didn’t see the point of anything. I wrote to one of my friends asking why God was doing this to me and why he wasn’t fixing my life. It all felt so unfair. She wrote back and recounted the story of Joseph to me.

Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers, to a commander of the guard named Potiphar in Egypt. The young man became very powerful in Potiphar’s house. But then, in doing right and not giving into sin, Joseph was falsely accused and thrown in prison. Was that fair? No. None of it was. But the story didn’t end there. The pharaoh had dreams and Joseph was called to interpret them. There was going to be seven years of plenty and then seven years of terrible famine. Joseph became second in command of Egypt, and through his hand, God provided food not only for the people of Egypt but for the Joseph’s own brothers and father as well.

What man meant for evil, God used for good.

I used to think, “Yeah, that sounds nice and all, but that doesn’t happen nowadays anymore.”

I can tell you now that I have seen it in my own life. Things that were bad, unpleasant, ugly…things that I thought no good could possibly come from…God used them to bring healing and hope in the most unexpected of ways. Does the memory of the trials still hurt? Of course. I would NEVER tell someone who had been through deep hurt, “Just get over it. Can’t you see all of the good that has come from it?” Whether we like it or not, the things that happen to us have a lasting impact on us. We have been wounded, and though the wounds heal, they don’t always go away without leaving a scar.

I’m not asking you to forget the pain and fear of 2020. I’m not telling you to get over it because wonderful, happy times are just ahead. All I’m saying is that in this time, keep your eyes open for unexpected blessings. Maybe it’s getting to see an old friend in person. Maybe it’s the fact that you can now go into that store without wearing a mask.

And when this is all over, look back and remember the things that you have learned from this pandemic. Don’t block it all from your memory. Just like the prairies must burn yearly to be renewed and to come back more beautiful than ever, so must we go through times of fire and testing. When the fire passes and the gentle rains come, we’ll grow taller and be stronger because of the trials.

I love part of this poem from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran on the topic of joy and sorrow.

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

(Read the whole book, guys, it’s really really beautiful.)

Joy and sorrow, pain and healing are not as different and separate as we believe they are. Together they work in unity to bring us farther than we ever dreamed that we could go. Hope is beautiful and it will never fail or fall away.


37 thoughts on “What Was Meant For Evil, God Used For Good

  1. YES YES YES! Here are my thoughts on 2020:
    Before 2020, my family was whole
    Before 2020, I could walk outside and sit next to a friend, not realizing my face was free.
    Before 2020, life was awesome.
    Then 2020 hit.
    Grandpa died and
    Granny got hurt.
    Masks and social distancing filled my brain.
    And yet I learned that when life isn’t awesome
    God can be my amazing Life.
    God is rich and sweet and amazing.
    He has always been the Word that shields my heart
    From the sickness of sin
    When I put Him on.
    He has always led me away from those that are infected
    And today, if I get physically sick,
    I’ve learned to put on the Mask of His Love.
    I’ve learned to choose the truth
    Not the lie.
    I now know that whatever 2021 brings,
    I have the most amazing Life of all.
    Jesus Christ.

    Sorry, I love poetry, and u inspire. XD It’s not quite as polished as it could be. But I hope you enjoy it! XD

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great post Hattush! I have been noticing that 2020 has earned itself a definite negative score in most eyes and while I’ll definitely agree with most that it wasn’t my favorite year, I don’t want to forget that God created the year 2020, he had a purpose, and I don’t think He wants us to forget about it, but to learn from it. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I just read it. Yes, very true and inspiring for sure! It’s not been my favorite year and I am slowly feeling that I need to get out again. Thinking about that I believe that maybe God is teaching me patience, being content with what I have, and reach out to others who are in need. Praise God for His mercy and His patience with us! Blessings, Elfriede

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for sharing these honest reflections. I love Kahil Gibran’s the Prophet too – especially the bit about children. I also heard once about a practice of painting cracks in pottery with gold and I like to imagine my/our scars painted in gold after the Lord has put me/us back together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! His poetry is so beautiful.
      I thought it was really cool that you mentioned the practice of painting cracks in pottery with gold because we gave my little brother a middle name based off of that. It’s beautiful to see how God takes the broken and bruised parts of us and makes them so beautiful. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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