If the people walking behind me at camp last Saturday were paying attention, they probably thought I was really strange.
I was walking to the car with my son after picking him up from his first week at overnight camp. I had several things in my hands, and I dropped my iPhone on the pavement. I picked it up and saw that the screen was completely shattered. I shrugged, showed my son, and quietly said something like, “Oh. Bummer.” Then I calmly walked to the car like nothing had happened.
If I saw someone respond that way to a broken phone, I’d think they were either extremely easy-going, filthy rich or absolutely insane!
Here’s what any campers and parents who noticed the incident didn’t know: just one week earlier, my cellular service contract had expired. I was eligible for a phone upgrade at a discounted price, and I had my eye on a new iPhone 6. The night before, I asked my husband if I could get one, and he said I could! I planned to go pick one up that very week. When I saw the broken phone, I thought, “I get my new phone today!”
The expectation of a new phone caused me to respond to adversity in an unexpected way.
In a similar way, God’s promises enable His children to respond to suffering in unexpected ways. Christ’s victory over sin and sickness and sadness and death empowers us to face difficult circumstances without fear and despair.
When I was diagnosed with cancer as an almost-34-year-old mom of three young kids, I didn’t shrug my shoulders and say, “Oh, bummer,” and go on like nothing had happened. I was heartbroken. I was scared. But there was also a sense in which I was peaceful. I knew I could trust God’s plan for my life when my plans had been shattered.
I know that God is making all things new and that He will make all things new. He is currently making all things new as He walks with us through dark times and pours out His grace, comfort and peace. He is weaving our threads of suffering into a beautiful tapestry for His glory. And He will make all things new one day when we are with Him in new bodies and a new heaven and a new earth.
I am convinced that God’s promises are true. I am convinced that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39). I praise God that I can cling to Him as my Rock when it feels like my whole world has been shattered (Isaiah 26:3-4).
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”