Seeking an Ocassion

Some things are just too hard to understand.

But that doesn't mean there is no reason.

My eldest daughter has been a grief to us for the past decade. Her rebellion against everything that is good and right seems so pointless. Why, God?

As I wrestled in prayer over her once again, I thought of the adorable little princess she once was. The birthday parties. The cuddling. The talks about life. The ice skating lessons and braces.

And now...

I didn't know then, but God did.

He knew. He watched us love her and raise her and infuse her with truth...and he knew. He already knew where this was going. How could he do that to us? Why has he allowed this?

And then I remembered another son who rebelled against his family and his God. Knowing it was strictly forbidden, he barged into Hedonism and found a wanton woman that would satisfy his lust. "Get her for me!" he ordered his poor, distraught father.

His parents tried everything: pleading, commanding, explaining, forbidding. No use. His headlong race to destruction could not be stopped by an atomic blast.

I understand. I've been there. But the next verse shows us a different slant to the story of Samson. Judges 14:4 says, "His father did not know that this was of the Lord, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines."

Really? This was of the Lord? Samson choosing evil was of the Lord?

God used this story to show me something that helps make sense of a parent's worst nightmare. Sometimes he uses a person's own willfulness to accomplish his purposes. His purposes rarely look like ours. That's why he tells us to trust him.

My purposes would have included a grown daughter who loved and served the Lord with all her heart. How could that not be of God?

But he has plans for us, for her, that I do not know. He is allowing her to expend herself in wickedness because he is "seeking an occasion." He can use what she's doing now to bring about more good than if she was behaving herself.

Isn't that an amazing thought?

As I trust him with her, with me, and let him use this for good in my life, He is accomplishing far more through me than if had I not had to go through this. He is using what I'm learning in the lives of many people.

The message of betrayal, suffering, and forgiveness is going farther than the message of peace I would have chosen.
I use the pain from this situation nearly every day to impact someone else. People are being saved and lives are being restored because of what he has called me to do as a counselor.

The message my daughter will share when she at last comes "to the end of herself" will be farther-reaching than if she had never strayed. As backward as it seems to us, God likes to use evil to bring about good when we take our hands off and let him.

There are times when an evil choice from a dark heart is "of the Lord."

Is there a situation in your life that seems so wrong it can never be made right?

Maybe God is "seeking an occasion" to bring beauty from ashes, turn darkness into light, and destroy the very evil that now appears to be in charge.

Maybe rather than a tragic mistake, your situation is exactly as God wants it to be because he is "seeking an occasion."

Don't get in his way.


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