As for me, you [Joseph’s brothers] meant evil against me [Joseph], but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
I have to remind myself there is good in the world and it’s worth fighting for. Especially when bad things happen or someone treats me unfairly.
From Seventh Dimension – The Door, a Young Adult Christian Fantasy:
Her voice trailed off as she read a few more lines to herself. Then, with one fell swoop, she threw my paper in the trash.
“This is too well written to be original. I’m sure Shale copied it off the web. I’m not going to read it.”
Thirty sets of eyes shifted to me and my face and neck felt hot. Mrs. Wilkes’ beady eyes pulsated. No one moved. If I dropped the straight pin that was in my sweater pocket, the room would have heard it ping on the floor.
—Mrs. Wilkes and Shale Snyder, chapter two
Have you ever felt unfairly accused of something you didn’t do? Or something happened that was unfair?
How could God use what happened to Shale for good? Shale’s writing ability was far beyond her years, so the teacher thought she had plagiarized her report. But Shale’s insecurity kept her from seeing her true value. The teacher’s accusations stung. Whatever talent she did have for writing was overshadowed by the pain she felt inside.
My favorite story in the Bible is the story of Joseph. God chose Joseph to save the nation of Israel. Before God’s plan was revealed, however, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. The brothers were filled with jealousy toward Joseph because their father had given Joseph a beautiful coat of many colors, but he had not given one to each of them. Later, Joseph was falsely accused by someone else and sent to prison for something he didn’t do.
The only thing we can control is our attitude and our response to all the things that go wrong.
We’re like soldiers in a war zone fighting evil. No matter what, God is on our side. We must not allow the evil to consume us with bitterness. We don’t want anything to become an idol or to come before God. The first commandment in the Bible says, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
I find it helpful to remember that God knows the beginning and the end. He knows when I have been wronged and treated unfairly.
I will share a secret. I was accused of plagiarism by a teacher when I was in fifth grade. It never occurred to me at the time that I had a gift of writing. All I could think of was how embarrassed I was that the teacher had accused me in front of the class and I couldn’t defend myself.
But what Satan intended for evil, God meant for good. Today I have an opportunity to share my experience with you and to encourage you. I can remind you that God knows the truth about your situation, just as he knew the truth about me. He knew someday I would become an author and write about these things, and use these bad experiences to bring him glory.
Can you encourage someone who may be going through a difficult situation? God will not waste opportunities. Allow him to redeem the bad and the ugly. That’s the best part about being a Christian. Whatever Satan does to cause problems, God always has the final word. God knows how to make lemonade from lemons.
Thank you, Jesus, that you know the beginning and the end. Thank you that everything in my life you can use for good—even the bad parts. Please help me not to become discouraged but to keep my eyes on you. Help me to remember that everything that happens passes through your permissive hand. Thank you that I can trust you in all these things.