This week in a small group I was asked what predestination means. What does it mean to be the elect? That’s always a fun question to discuss, but the problem is, there is never enough time to really give an adequate response. While it’s possible to answer the question intellectually, the truth is that it’s a heart question…a soul question. And those questions are never settled with words or answers.
There was a year in my life when everything seemed to go wrong. My husband and I were struggling with infertility, I was waiting for a call to ministry, he got laid off and was diagnosed with cancer, and then we were burglarized. I was afraid to get up in the morning for fear of what bad thing would happen next.
Romans 8:28 doesn’t say that all things are good. It says, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” God used a very difficult time in my life to deepen my faith. I came to believe in God in a way that I didn’t before this wilderness season in my life. I came to believe in my heart and soul that God is good all the time. I don’t believe God caused all these things to happen to me to help me grow. We live in a fallen world where things go wrong. But I believe that the love, goodness, and power of God are so great that he is able to redeem even the worst circumstances of our lives for his good purposes.
I remember at one point crying out in prayer, “O God, I’m hanging on by a thread, and I’m about to let go.” And God’s Spirit spoke to my spirit-not in an audible voice but very clearly in a way I will never forget: “Glenda, it is not you who is hanging on to me, but I am hanging on to you, and I will never let you go.”
In one moment I came to understand what predestination means in a way that years of thought and study never satisfied. I belong to God, and God is for me. “If God is for us, who us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else.” (Romans 8:31-32). AMEN.