A couple of years ago, my children made a discovery about me that they had never known before. They were having a contest to see who could draw cartoon characters the best. My son was being rather careless in his attempt, but my daughter was really taking the matter very seriously. She had scribbled a few markings on her paper, but those markings were not producing any desired outcome. In her frustration, tears began to flow down her cheeks and she looked at me and said, “Daddy, look how terrible this looks. All I have done is just made a mess.” I stooped down in the floor and took her paper and pencil into my hands. From there, I let my imagination flow as I began to take her markings and added details creating exactly what she desired from the beginning. While she discovered I had a hidden secret of drawing, perhaps she also learned a valuable lesson that day. Sometimes, when we think we have made a mess of things in our lives, there is someone who can take the misplaced markings and use them to create a beautiful picture in the end.
Woven throughout the pages of Scripture is a principle that is easily overlooked and often missed about the Lord. From Genesis to Revelation, this principle was discovered by saints of God in ways that gave both healing and hope. That principle is simply this: He is the God of “all things.” Abraham’s life had marked moments of sin and disobedience. However, as he looked back over his life in his aged years, it was worth noting, “…the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.” Few in scripture ever felt the prolonged pain of a fall like David. Yet, in his moments of weakness he was able to “…cry unto God…that performeth all things for me.” That is not to say that the Lord puts His stamp of approval on our sin and wrong, but rather He is able to take those broken pieces and produce something for His glory. That is exactly what Paul had in mind when he wrote in Romans 8:28, “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…” The Lord not only made “all things,” but He measures “all things” for exact fit into the mold of what He is making of our lives. Why is it so important to know we serve a God of “all things?”
We are reminded of His unlimited power. In Matthew 19, a rich young man came to Jesus thinking both his good deeds and his money would be enough to buy him entrance into heaven. Jesus then gave an illustration comparing such beliefs with a camel going through the eye of a needle. When the disciples realized how difficult that would be, they asked how that would be possible. Jesus said, “…with God all things are possible.” Life is filled with unscalable mountains, impassable chasms, and unreachable shores. At such a moment in life, the Lord reminded Isaiah, “…I am the Lord that maketh all things…” He that made the mountain also made the clouds that rise above the mountain. He that made the chasm also made the air His highway to span the chasm. He that made the shore also made the tide that brings the ship to shore. No wonder Paul said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Whether life’s problem is Satan’s hindrance or a Divine obstacle, “Jesus therefore, knowing all things…”, knows both the problem AND the solution!
We are reminded of His unrivaled power. John capsulized it best in John 1:3, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” Man has revolutionized the world through inventions, yet there are times in life when no one but Jesus can help. We can travel at the speed of light, but Who spoke that light into being? Men can reach the stars while landing on the moon, but Who holds the moon in place and knows each star by name? Paul understood the answer as he wrote in I Corinthians 15:27, “For He hath put all things under His feet.” There is no enemy we will ever face that can stand mightier than our Lord. The wind and waves humbly bowed at His feet, while disease and death relinquished their hold so “…in all things He might have the preeminence.” He stands alone when it comes to reaching any depth or ascending to any height for you and me. His power will always extend to where His love will be revealed.
We are reminded of His unselfish power. The most impressive quality about the heart of Jesus is the fact He used His power to benefit the lives of others. That was the great test of His wilderness experience when He was tempted to use His power for selfish means. He never used His power to establish a throne, start a coup, or instigate a church split. Power, prestige, and position have turned many a sweet heart quite sour. That can never be said of the Lord. Whether it was His miracles, His sermons, or His sufferings, Paul summed it up best in 2 Corinthians 4:15, “for all things are for your sakes…” Oh, what sacrifice! Oh, what love! What enabled Him to be so unselfish? Peter answers that in I Peter 4:11, “…that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ…” While it is true “the Lord made all things for Himself,” it is equally true that He does “freely give us all things.” His eyes have always been fixed on the Father, but His heart remains fixed
on you and me.
Today, I can step back and take a panoramic view of the canvas of my life. There are places where I have left more unintelligible markings than I care to mention. There are places where the lines simply do not match up. I can still see the tear stains where the brush strokes of a failure bled across a success. Yet, the most amazing sight is in places where I left black and white imprints. Somehow, mercy has tied them all together and grace has filled them in with vivid colors. As I look back over my life, I can say with the crowd in Mark 7:37, “He hath done all things well.”
Your Most Proud Pastor,
© 2007 Alan Stewart
Alan Stewart: Dr. Alan Stewart has served as Senior Pastor of Rechoboth Baptist since December 1999. He attended The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Moody Bible Institute, Covington Theological Seminary, and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
Prior to pastoring the Tennessee church, Alan was an evangelist for 15 years. He has preached revivals/pastor’s conferences in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. He also preached crusades/conferences in India, Hungary, and conducted a crusade in South Africa in August of 2009. Pastor Alan is married to Jeanne, and they are blessed with two children – Sierra and Seth.