Nothing is Wasted
In February of 2016, my family was rocked to the core. It was a Wednesday evening, and I was teaching the K-3rd graders when Nichole (my wife), clearly distraught, came upstairs, pulled me from the class and said, “It’s Doug." (my brother-in-law) "He was in a really bad car accident...and he didn’t make it.”
Immediately, my heart sank. I know many of you can relate. Maybe you’ve been there before. It’s that surreal experience where your mind tries to reconcile the words you just heard as the knot builds up in your stomach, your mouth goes dry, and your mind races a million miles an hour.
The loved one, who was just here living life, is gone. They've breathed their last breath. It starts to set in...although it feels impossible...no more conversations, no more jokes, no more hugs, no more them…in a matter of seconds, in the blink of an eye, Doug was gone.
My thoughts went to my sister, my nephews, and my niece. My heart broke for this loss that they were experiencing as I struggled to gather my thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
My heart was broken as I tried to grasp what had happened.
I quickly headed to Kansas City to be with my family and try to do anything I could to help. I knew there wasn’t a ton I could do, but I wanted to be there for my sister, for her kids, and for the rest of our family.
One morning while spending time with the Lord, a song came on that I had never heard before, and the words blew my mind! I was at a loss for words. It's just like God to put a song in my heart at the very moment that I need it, and this is a perfect example. (By the way, God can do this for you as well. Are you listening for what God is trying to show you?)
That song was Nothing is Wasted, by Elevation Worship.
As I listened to the song, Romans 8:28 immediately came to mind, where Paul says:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
I know you’ve heard it before…but just read it a few more times…
That’s right. soak it up…
One more time…
One last time.
Yes I agree...This is a really hard verse to grasp!
In life, we’re all going to face highs and lows.
- One moment, your career is going great. The next minute, you’re laid off.
- One day, your finances are in order. The next day, every appliance is breaking, and your car is stranded on the highway.
- One day, you feel fine. The next day, a test reveals cancer.
- One day, you’re talking to a loved one. Then days later, they’re gone, and you’ll never get to talk to them again.
...you fill in the blanks.
The fact is, it’s easy for us to accept Romans 8:28 when we’re in the good times. Yet when the tough times come, we can’t imagine how God could use the situation for good. That’s where I found myself that morning as the words to Nothing is Wasted pierced my heart.
The chorus of this song says:
“You are loving, you are wise, there is nothing in my life, you cannot revive...there is nothing too hard for my God.”
And the 2nd verse is:
“Your Word inside of me, my strength, my everything, my hope will always be, Jesus. Your breath inside my lungs, You’re worthy of my trust, my hope will always be, Jesus.”
These lyrics tore through me that morning as I sat with tears streaming down my face, wrestling with this thought.
Here was A tragedy with so much pain and so much struggle, but somehow it wasn’t wasted?! How can that be?!
A couple of weeks later, I finally understood as I sat in Doug’s Celebration of Life Service with hundreds (literally HUNDREDS) of people-- some believers, some not, yet all worshiping together.
Some people in that room were singing in joy, remembering the way that Doug blessed them, knowing that they will see him again. Others struggled to reconcile their own lives, because although they had experienced the love of God through Doug, they never really understood what made Doug so different...and now they asked themselves, "What is this life about?" What I saw as a tragedy that caused enormous pain may have been the turning point in the lives of hundreds of people who knew and loved Doug. Who am I to question the sovereignty and will of our almighty Father?!
We may never understand the things that happen in our lives. That’s ok.
Romans 8 says that God works things together for good for those who love Him. It does NOT say that God only allows good things to happen to those who love Him. Nowhere in God’s Word does He say that He’s going to explain everything to us and make sure that our lives are easy. On the contrary, as we look to the lives of the disciples, early Christians, and even Jesus Himself, we see that there will be pain and suffering as we walk on this earth.
We simply need to understand that God will use every situation in our lives for good if we follow after Him.
That day, I came to realize that even though I can't immediately see what God is doing, I can trust in Him. I can let Him work. I can offer Him my praise in spite of my circumstance. Because I know that, in God, Nothing is Wasted.
So Nothing is Wasted takes its spot as track 2 on my Mixed Tape. Check it out!