And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)
This past Sunday, Keith Ferrin preached from Romans 8, which is consistently my favorite passage in the Bible. An old study Bible had a note that compared the book of Romans to a cathedral and Romans 8 to the pinnacle of the cathedral. One of the things we’ve been talking about at Creekside is clarifying the language around our mission statement with a strong focus on encountering Jesus. While it was many years ago, I’d like to share the defining Romans 8 moment in my life up to this point.
It was May of 2005, and I had just graduated from Virginia Tech. The next step in my plan was to head to graduate school for my master’s degree at North Carolina State in Raleigh, NC. A friend of mine had just moved to Raleigh, so my plan was to stay with him for a few days before starting my summer job and work out the details of where I would live when I started school in late August.
The day before I headed down, my friends and I were playing our standard Sunday afternoon pickup softball game when a routine flyball resulted in my colliding with someone else. The next day I was at the doctor, and the day after I had several hours of surgery to plate the bones I broke in my face back together. Needless to say, I was not in North Carolina finding a place to live that week. After that week, I needed to start my job. I couldn’t take more time off, so I figured I’d work out a living situation remotely. The morning of my surgery, I read Romans 8 before heading to the hospital, and even though it seemed like a random accident, as I read the latter half of the chapter, I had this strong sense of peace that there was a purpose for my experience.
Shortly after that, an opportunity popped up to go work for a company doing a yearlong internship in Phoenix, which I applied for since there were no concrete commitments yet holding me to heading to North Carolina. As they say, the rest is history. I got the position in Phoenix, which ultimately led to my getting a job offer that required me to move to Redmond, WA. Washington is where I met Sarah, my wife, and now we have two amazing kids. I strongly believe that had I not had that accident, my life would have taken a very different path.
So personally, whenever I think of encountering Jesus, to me Romans 8:28 is inseparable from that concept. I know God speaks to and works with each person differently, but for me it’s always been through events where looking back, I can point to Romans 8:28 and say, “I know that worked for my good.”