Rain. Cold. Rain. Cold. Rain. Cold. . . . And so the cycle continues here in western PA. I normally love fall, however, jumping into November fall before October fall just isn’t fun. As I gaze into a dark, gloomy sky I think of an old saying, “Every cloud has a silver lining,” but there isn’t a lick of silver to be seen. So what’s up with that?
The old saying sounds nice and may help us think more positively, but the reality is that some clouds bring only darkness. What makes a silver lining? A cloud’s relationship to the sun. And so it is with the storm clouds of life.
“And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son . . . .” Romans 8:28-29 (NET)
I know that most people prefer to utilize only a few words of this verse: “All things work together for good.” Convenient ignorance on our part I suppose—especially if our goal is a casual faith in an obscure, warm, fuzzy god.
But if we would simply take the time to dig a little deeper, we’d uncover one of the most amazing promises known to man. No matter what we go through, God will use the circumstances to conform us to the glorious image of His Son. For the Christian, there is no such thing as a true tragedy. Pain? Yes. True tragedy? Never!
If our love for God does not highly value “to be conformed to the image of his Son,” that often elusive silver lining will give way to jaded gloom. Cynicism will reign and we’ll be left feeling as though we’ve been mistreated and abandoned.
Several years ago I was plodding about in my garden, nursing wounds from what I perceived as mistreatment at the hands of some other Christians. In one of those divine moments the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart saying, “You asked for this.”
“Yeah, right.” was my unexcited response.
Unfazed He continued, “You prayed to be conformed to the image of Christ, did you not? This is your opportunity to know His heart and to share in His sufferings.” Obviously He was right (as God tends to be), but the answer to my prayer didn’t quite fit my theology (or desire) at the time. For those who truly long to know Christ, being conformed to His image is an essential part of the process.
The truth of the matter is that dark storm clouds of life will always appear from time to time. And as the covenant children of God we can always look to the sky and know that for us every cloud does have a silver lining. No matter how dark the circumstances, our loving Father will bless us by conforming us into the eternal image of His dear Son. This really is the best deal in town, totally unequaled by anything this world has to offer!