**This post was originally posted on the Women’s Life Blog February 16, 2016.
I grew up the small rural community of Siler City, NC. There were plenty of green cornfields and starry nights to shape imaginations. The smell of cut grass on a summer’s day still transports me back to that simpler time.
As I approach my sixth decade, I can look back and see God’s Sovereignty in my life from the very beginning. How did I, an African-American female raised by a single mother, from a racially divided deep South community, grow up to know Jesus and believe He loves me in the face of so many daily opportunities to believe I was unlovable and unworthy? Why was the Gospel presented to me at age 12? Why did I have access to education and opportunities to grow and learn? Why did I not drown under the weight of prejudice, poverty and the self-loathing it breeds?
Recently, my Pastor asked our congregation during a sermon series on significance, “Do you believe that God can use the negative experiences in your life, or does He only use the positive experiences in your life?”
Friends, there are people all around us everyday who are judged as “not worthy” and they feel the weight of that pronouncement consciously and subconsciously I believe. It may be because of skin color, accent, or immigration status. Or it may be because of pornography addiction, sexual sin, or the shame of past abuse suffered by both the abused and the abuser.
Regardless of the reason, God holds out hope through relationship with His Son Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16-17 NASB)
It is so easy to buy into the “If it feels good, it must be the right thing” myth, or using the yardstick of “If every thing falls into place, then God must be in it, right?” I know I’m guilty of that one!
But in the real world, we will have trouble and sorrow.
“…In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b) NASB
Jesus is Lord over all! Spread the Good News; someone is waiting to hear it!