One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” (KJV) In this chapter, Paul celebrates the new life of the Spirit that we as Christians enjoy thanks to Christ’s redemptive work on the cross.
In verse 28, “good” importantly refers to not only our spiritual and eternal good, but also for our earthly good. As we begin this New Year, I would like to suggest that we all embrace this verse and be on the lookout for God as He works things together “for good.” Watch for “Godwinks,” those prayers answered, those reassuring whispers in our heart that calm us, and the seemingly impossible coincidences that fill us with gratitude when they come our way.
Let’s not focus on the door that slams in our face, but the one that opens up ahead. Let’s not grumble that our prayer wasn’t answered in the manner we want, but let’s look and listen for the Lord’s answer according to what He wants for us. Let us give glory to “God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Eph 3:20 NLV) Sometimes we get so caught up in “oh no” that we miss the blessing that God is holding out for us. And sometimes, we have to take into consideration that God is using us to be a blessing for someone else.
Let me tell you about my recent “Godwink.” In November, I experienced a vitreous detachment of my left eye. While it is a common occurrence and usually does not impair vision, there is a risk of tearing or detaching the retina which can be serious, so it requires no fewer than three doctor visits over a six-week period. Each time I visited the retina specialist, his assistant would run a preliminary series of tests. One test involved looking at a chart of gridlines and telling whether the lines were straight or wavy. Thankfully, with each visit my eye improved, and I had no further problems.
About the same time, my sister called to tell me she too was having an eye issue: an annoying blurring of vision in her right eye. She went to her ophthalmologist who said she had dry eyes and gave her some eye drops, and then she went for a second opinion and again was told there was nothing wrong. Frustrated, one evening she called me to say that things were getting worse and that when she drove now, the lines in the road looked wavy to her.
When she said that, a red flag immediately went up and I said, “Nancy, I want you to see a retina specialist as soon as possible.” A week later she was receiving treatment for wet macular degeneration, a disease of the eye that can cause severe and irreversible vision loss.
I am so grateful for this “Godwink” in my life. It didn’t in any way change what I went through with my own eye, but God worked my situation “for good” by helping my sister with her eye. Be on the lookout for moments like these in your life and praise God for them. They will bring you joy, strengthen your faith, draw you closer to the Lord, and advance His kingdom.
Wishing you a New Year filled with “Godwinks!”