For Our Good Or For Our Harm?

Thursday, October 1, 2020
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Listen while you read: "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise"1 (Lyrics)

When I was growing up, our chicken house usually housed a dozen or so generally docile hens, but the least disturbance could result in a cacophony of indignant clucking and flapping of wings before they'd all settle back down again on their roosts — until the next disturbance.

This flurry of clucking and flapping of wings makes me think of my neighbourhood. I use a computer app that is branded as a social networking service for neighbourhoods. It also serves — unfortunately — as a platform for complaining and venting about all kinds of neighbourhood issues.

About a year ago, our city's department of roads began restriping many of our main city arterials to give bikers a safety lane for travel. Four-lane roads suddenly shrank to two lanes, with bike lanes on either side gobbling up the remaining asphalt. With only one lane in each direction now available for cars, speeders soon found that they were being blocked by drivers who were observing the speed limit. The speeders began to duck over onto parallel residential streets, sometimes driving 50 miles an hour in 25 mile-an-hour zones.

There seems to be a rippling cause and effect to everything in life, so in order to slow down traffic in residential neighbourhoods, where there were now also more pedestrians walking for exercise due to the pandemic, the city designated some of those residential streets as "Local Access Only" and has marked them off with barriers.

Oh, the cacophony of clucking and flapping of wings that all of this traffic control has set off on the social networking app! Have all of these changes been for our good or for our harm? I guess people's opinions largely depend upon whether they are speeders or law-abiding citizens! I expect that the city monitors traffic patterns and may be flexible enough in future to make needed adjustments.

Don't we all view life with its blessings and problems in the same way? Basically, our attitudes and outlooks on life colour how we see the things that happen to us. We can view life's happenings as problems and barriers, or we may choose to see them as challenges with future good outcomes.

When we belong to God as His children, we can fully trust Him to knit life's happenings together for our good and His glory, and not for our harm. Let's trust Him to be for us, not against us.

Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. (NLT)

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to view life with its good and bad events as an arena for You to work in and through us — for Your glory. May we willingly accept whatever You bring our way as a gift to be received with confidence. Amen.

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About the author:

Gail Lundquist <>
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Gail.

    Thank you, Gail. I hope you have been well during the fires and other troubles in your area.

    Thank you, Gail, for being willing to write God’s words today!
    I needed that.
    God bless you!

    Amen Gail. Thanks for the reminder, and I pray everything will work together for our good, in Jesus name.

    “It is well with my soul” just sung today. Rev Spafford lost 4 daughters in a shipwreck and he wrote that timeless hymn!
    Thanks, and blessings for this, Gail, we all need reminded.

    Dear Gail,
    Thank you for such an uplifting devotional. Watching our daughter and son-in-law create new online lesson plans for their students, I believe anyone open to change, has a wealth of new ways to share the Gospel. Right at our fingertips.

    Thank you for your email Devotional. We get speeding cars in the residential areas of our city too! We advocate for change through our City Councilors. But as Christians we yield to His Will and Purpose.
    Thanks again,
    (Manitoba, Canada)

    Hi Gail
    Sounds like the usually daily gossip.
    It sounds also like politics with everybody wanting to go their own way and not pulling together to resolve things.
    I enjoyed your devotional today.

    Hi Gail,
    Your writing is always interesting and enlightening to me. We live on a ranch about 12 miles from our small town. There is one main road we take before turning onto our “slower” road. People drive from 40 mph to 80 mph. My choice is usually to drive the 60-mph speed limit. The other day I was behind a car driving 40 with the driver’s foot on the brake most of the way. I was shaking my head and found it hard to believe that this person lives on our county road and is indeed a valued neighbor. SO, I gave myself a little lecture and moved onto another thought… and tried to remind myself of things that are more important than very slow drivers.
    Hopefully, all things in your lovely city are returning to normal.
    Thanks for writing and reminding us of one of our main purposes in life: “work together for good of those who love God….”

    Good Morning Gail, from Northern Ontario, where Nature is wearing its cloaks of brilliant crimson and gold in contrast with the greens of the many evergreens. As an artist, I can truly say it is God’s masterpiece.
    Thank you for this morning’s Devotional, which my wife and I have enjoyed very much!
    You appear to have many of the same situations that we have, with what I refer to as “ME people” – people who believe that they come first! It appears that red signs reading “STOP” mean hesitate, and not for very long.
    Speed limits are for suckers and fools. Do whatever speed you want! Then there are those who feel it’s “cool” to try and deafen you – particularly when driving motorcycles.
    It’s the same with “Covid Cautions” – they’re for idiots to obey, but not “Me” people. They have killed thousands. Sometimes I wonder if they have a conscience at all!
    Then, there are those who believe that there is a greater way to live, serving our God and our neighbours.
    Thank you for being that kind of person.
    God bless you, with PEACE, LOVE, and JOY in your life, and the lives of those you love.

    Thank you, Gail, for this encouraging reminder of God’s continuous care. Blessings.

    I’s all a matter of attitude.
    Residents in many parts of the world who have to worry about where their next meal comes from, would find such concerns baffling.

    Hi Gail,
    I loved your devotional with it’s beautiful message. Yes, no matter what life throws at us, we can trust God that He works in us and through us to make all things good. Your writing in this devotional was beautiful and poignant. “A cacophony of indignant clucking and flapping of wings” – l was laughing, visualizing that as l read!

    May we willingly accept whatever You bring our way as a gift to be received with confidence. Amen
    Dear Gail.
    How should we accept covid?
    I think we should pray for God’s protection from covid.
    I pray that God will guide all the scientists who are working for the discovery of a serum, for effective medications, and for effective treatments, don’t you? I do pray so. May God bless you and keep you safe from covid is my prayer for you.
    And may God keep you writing for his sake. Amen.


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