You intended to harm me,
but God intended it for good
BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE: A WASP STING
For as long as I’ve known them, my in-laws have had beautiful grapevines in their yard. The grapes were quite sour – not great for eating out of hand, but wonderful for the jars of homemade jelly the family loved. I used a recipe with good results, but it needed a lot of sugar to be sweet enough.
Winter made a surprise visit one year, with frost covering the gardens in early September. My father-in-law suggested that we should harvest all the grapes, insisting that the sudden freeze made them sweeter (much like those used to make very expensive ice wine).
My husband Rick was more than happy to take on the harvesting job, visions of sparkling, purple jars of jelly dancing in his head.
He returned with three pails full, but not quite as thrilled as when he’d left. He was shaking his right hand, muttering, trying hard to avoid foul language. Unknowingly, he had disturbed and angered a wasp hidden in the vines, resulting in a nasty sting. The burning pain from the formic acid in the wasp venom subsided after a few hours and was forgotten by the next day. However, Rick did notice something unusual. After a morning working in the garden, his knees didn’t hurt. He remembered reading that formic acid has been tested as an anti-inflammatory. It certainly seemed to be having that effect on him; he was pain-free for almost a week. The short-term pain from the wasp sting turned into a much longer blessing.
You intended to harm me,
but God intended it for good.
GOD IS SOVEREIGN
And the grape jelly? It was the best batch ever, perfectly sweet with very little added sugar. Once again God showed us how good can come from something that at first seems ruined.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.
There is strength within the sorrow,
There is beauty in our tears.
You meet us in our mourning,
With a love that casts out fear.
You are working in our waiting,
When beyond our understanding,
You’re teaching us to trust.
Your plans are still to prosper,
You have not forgotten us.
You’re with us in the fire and the flood.
Perfect in love,
You are sovereign over us.
Even what the enemy means for evil,
You turn it for our good.
You turn it for our good and for Your glory.
Even in the valley, You are faithful.
You’re working for our good,
You’re working for our good and for Your glory.
Father God, help us to open our eyes and our hearts to see how You are always at work in our lives, turning troubles into blessings. I ask for a fuller revelation of Your sovereignty, that we may learn to give all the glory to you. Amen.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- How many times have you been disappointed by circumstances, to later find God’s alternate plan was better than you could have imagined?
- We struggle with times of sickness, pain, sadness, confusion, and anxiety. Can you recall a time when God created a blessing in the middle of the mess of chronic illness?
- Who can you encourage by telling your story?
Contributing Writer and Prayer Team
Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord, saved by grace, a worshiper, a poet, a broken heart, a lover of words, His work in progress on the Potter's wheel. She is hungry for truth and amazed by love. After five years in Africa, Karin and Rick (her beloved husband of twenty years), are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. She is the author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).
Creatively Express Your Story
We can feel isolated and powerless when living with chronic illness, but what if your story begins to bridge the gaps? What if your story offers a glimmer of hope to someone standing at the edge of hopelessness?