My grandmother Cosey used to tell me this thing “Baby, God writes straight with crooked lines”. It took me decades to truly understand what that meant, and how that applied to my life. In essence what it really means is God’s pathway is not straight, it is filled with twists and turns. (Romans 8:28) Along with good times and clean outcomes, life is also filled with wrong turns, detours, conflicting choices, unexpected crisis, and heart-wrenching disappointments. The challenge with truly understanding the scripture in Romans is not seeing three things clearly – “those who love Him”, “called” and “according to His purpose for them”. This is how we begin to gain clarity about not only difficult circumstances and crisis in our own life, but perspective about things going on around us.
No matter what one may go through in life, no matter what - there is always something God is allowing it to teach us. Each situation is doing something for us. Earlier in my Christian walk this was so difficult for me to understand. I used to think disappointment was connected to punishment. There are times we are experiencing consequences to our own sin. Sometimes we experience consequences of a wrong decision.
Other times we are experiences the consequences of another person’s sin or bad decision. Life has ripples; it is always in motion and these things are meant to teach us about how powerfully we are all connected to one another. This is one reason why relationships are such significant aspects to our own Spiritual and emotional development.
When it comes to our relationship with the Lord, it is our ability to reflect on our own life experiences that helps us to understand how those successes, disappointments, losses, joys, betrayals, and detours have changed us. What have I learned about myself? How did that situation impact my relationship with the Lord and even more myself? What did that situation expose in my life is unhealed? How has this affected my priorities and what I value? What has this shown me about who I am – who I desire to be?
God does not allow anything in our lives unless it has redeeming value. This means that all things are intended to work for our transformation and toward a good end within us. He will not violate the very nature of Himself by interrupting our ability to choose. He may not even stop our own detours, but he will always speak and move on behalf of His children through them.