Welcome to Songs of Salvation! Each Sunday I will feature a Christian author sharing a "Song of Salvation" to uplift and encourage believers and glorify God.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. Revelation 12:11 NLT
Authors, find out how to share your Song of Salvation here.
When Things Go Wrong. . .Watch for God’s Blessing
By Rachel J. Good
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8: 28 KJV
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, but God has promised that all things will work out for good. Sometimes we can’t see the bright side right away, but in hindsight, a miraculous pattern often emerges.
I once had the privilege of hearing Corrie ten Boom, who had been imprisoned in a concentration camp and had lost her family during the Holocaust. Comparing life to a tapestry, she said we can only see the underside. From above, God sees the beauty of the finished piece. He knows the meaning behind every stitch, and He has planned the design for our lives.
It isn’t always easy to trust that greater purpose when we face discouragement or tragedy, but as I look back on my life, I see so many times of darkness that eventually turned out to be blessings. If only I could have seen ahead to God’s future plans for my life, I would have more easily accepted the gloomy times. As the years go by, I’m learning to trust Him more in all situations, and now actively look for the blessings that will follow.
My career is good example of how the Lord takes what appears to be a disaster and changes it to joy. At one time in my life, I was working as a librarian. I loved my job and planned to stay until I retired. Then the blows fell. My husband was self-employed, and the building where he worked caught on fire. We had no insurance, and finding another building to rent and then setting up the business from scratch was time-consuming and overwhelming. I was grateful that my salary would help us at least care for our 5 children and pay some of the household expenses.
Then I lost my job at the library. Through a series of miracles, each time we needed money for food or bills, it arrived. The biggest miracle, though, was that a week after I left the library, I received a phone call telling me I’d won a scholarship to a week-long writing conference – a conference I’d never applied for. If I’d been working at the library, I could never have gone. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God was directing me to a new profession.
A few years ago, I hit a dark patch in my writing life. I’d been thrilled to sign with an agent and get a contract for the Sisters & Friends Amish series. The first two book in the series, Change of Heart and Buried Secrets came out. But right after I turned in the third manuscript, Gift from Above, my editor called to say the publishing company was closing their fiction line. Not only would the series not be continuing, but the third book would not be printed. I’d get no payment for the manuscript I’d spent the last six months writing. Getting this news right before Christmas, when I’d counted on that money to pay bills, was rough. And to add to my sorrow, my agent, whom I loved, had died right before the books came out.
After spending some time feeling sorry for myself and asking God why this had happened, I remembered to watch for the blessing. Within a few months, my new agent had negotiated a 3-book contract with another publisher, and the first book in that series, The Amish Teacher’s Gift, came out in the spring. The second book, The Amish Midwife’s Secret comes out November 27, and the third book, The Amish Midwife’s Rescue, is now in production at the publisher and will come out May 28, 2019.
But another miracle followed. Harlequin Love Inspired picked up the dropped books in the Sisters & Friends series, so Gift from Above and Big-City Amish will be coming out in 2019. And this week I signed a 6-book contract with another publisher, so I have more books to write.
If I hadn’t lost my library job, I wouldn’t be a writer today. This is only one example of how God changed circumstances in my life to nudge me in a different direction or bring me unexpected blessings. Unlike the old proverb about doors closing and windows opening, I find that when God is in charge, instead it’s actually a window that closes, and a door that opens to a new and better opportunity. Sometimes God calls us to expand our vision and grow by taking away things that are keeping us small.
I could write about so many other disappointments that turned into blessings. What about you? How has God used a negative situation in your life for good?