Devotion in Motion: When Bad Things Happen, Final Installment

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

“The Missing Information

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

When I was about 4-years-old, I went with my mother to the dry-cleaners to pick up some clothing.  When we went inside there was a young boy there, probably about 10 or 11-years-old, who was showing a magic trick to his mother who was working behind the counter.  He had a tiny vase that had a lid on it.  He lifted the lid to show that the vase was empty, and then he placed a red ball inside the vase. He replaced the lid, tapped the lid with a magic wand and said a few magic words, and when he lifted the lid, the red ball was gone.

I was astounded. I’d seen pictures of magicians in books and had seen them on television, but I’d never once seen anyone who could work magic in real life. I couldn’t believe my eyes!

Something just as amazing to me were the reactions of the boy’s mother and that of my own mother. I could tell they weren’t amazed at all. For the rest of that afternoon I talked to my mom about what a wondrous thing we had witnessed, and I could tell she wasn’t impressed a bit. It just wasn’t that big of a deal.

Flash forward a few years. When I got a little older, I bought my own little magic vase at the five-and-dime. I think it cost fifty-nine cents. And boy, was I disappointed when I learned the secret of the trick. When you put the lid on the vase, the little ball got trapped in a false cover in the lid of the vase.  There was no great mystery. It made perfect sense when you had all the information.

I think we’re in the same situation in this life when we attempt to understand the meaning of the suffering we go through. Sometimes things seem so unfair. But, on the last day, I believe we’ll finally see all the facts that the Lord sees all time. Then everything is going to be so obvious. We’re all going to have blisters on our thumbs and knots on our heads from snapping our fingers and slapping our foreheads as we say, “Oh! It all makes perfect sense now!”

We sing a song in our country church that says “We’ll understand it all by and by.” I believe that with all my heart. Right now I can’t understand all the things God allows to happen, but I’m  still choosing to trust Him. And since God is all-knowing, I believe He looked through every plan for the universe that there could possibly be, and this was the best one. And once we have the information He has, that fact is going to be obvious.

In today’s Scripture lesson (at the top), St. Paul says that “all things work together for good.” This promise extends to all who “love God” and who are “called according to His purpose.” Dear mamas, let’s open our hearts to love Him this week, and be busy about doing the things that are pleasing to Him. He is always busy at work for our good.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” (Sing that to the title to the tune of “Secret Agent Man) He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is in the middle of his 25th year of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi.  He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 15) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where today is a beautiful day in Spring, even though it’s freezing in Arkansas.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to

Note from the mamas: If you missed any of the six installments in this series titled “When Bad Things Happen,” click here to read the ones you missed and bookmark this site for future reference. Not only did this series help us, as mothers, understand why bad things happen, but it will also help us attempt to explain it to our children as they grow up. Thank you, Brother John, for tackling one of the toughest writing assignments and making it look so easy. Readers, share your comments on this series by clicking the big orange button below.