When circumstances threaten my expectations of hope and well-being, it is easy to balk at the encouragement that “everything will turn out all right.” Or, to put it in the vernacular of hymnody, when “all around my soul gives way,” I can be quick to dismiss the notion that “it is well with my soul.”
Last week is a case in point. A particular trial caused me to look to the future with anxiety and dread. Unsure of the outcome of my struggles, I found myself on a disorienting emotional rollercoaster. The peace and joy of my Christmas vacation time seemed to teeter on the precipice of destruction. But God showed me once again how able and willing He is to work on behalf of His children. He gave me grace to face the trial and then He graciously and speedily resolved the trial, leaving me basking in His merciful love.
If it were possible for me to re-enter that trial with the knowledge of its resolution, I would probably have responded much better. But I don’t have that kind of foresight. Only God does.
It is with such foresight that God sent messengers down to earth to declare, “peace on earth, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14). The relationship between God and sinful humankind had been marred ever since the fall of Adam. But while sinful humankind had positioned itself against its maker, God was born as a baby (Luke 2:7) so that He could die as a man (Luke 23:46) so that He could reconcile sinners to Himself (Rom. 5:10). Thus, the angels could speak “good tidings of great joy” (Luke 2:10) even before the reconciliation was fully accomplished.
And so it is with us today. The genuinely converted can hold onto the promise that all things will work out for our good. The most horrible wrongs will be righted. The grand storyteller of our lives has a good end in store for us. So while we struggle with estrangement, infertility, disease, violence, injustice, and even death, we can know that everything will indeed turn out all right. And so, in a very real sense, all is well.
Postscript: special thanks to Frank Peretti and Michael W. Smith for the inspiration for this blog post.