There’s this episode of the I Love Lucy Show which is one of the funniest of the whole series. Lucy and Ethel take a job at a chocolate factory as part of a bet with their husbands, and they get put on the assembly line where their job is to take the pieces of unwrapped chocolate and wrap them in these little squares of waxed paper before they get into the packaging room at the other end. The boss woman tells them if a single piece of unwrapped chocolate makes it in there, they’ll be fired.
At first, everything is going well, nice and easy. But when the boss lady checks and sees how well it’s going, she speeds up the conveyor belt and hilarity ensues. They begin raking in the chocolates, stuffing them in their hats, their mouths, their aprons, trying to keep them from reaching the other end unwrapped.
I think sometimes we imagine God doing this. Romans 8:28 says that God causes all things to work together for my good. It’s as if I’m in the packing room at the end, and God is plucking all the bad events off the assembly line of my life, wrapping them in something good, and then sending them on. (Okay, see, this is where the metaphor breaks down because in no universe is chocolate a bad thing. Forgive and bear with me). God, the One who puts silver linings on bad clouds, sends it on, still a bad thing, but wrapped in a thin veneer of God’s goodness. I’ve even imagined God franticly trying to catch all the stuff coming at me and get it wrapped before it’s too late. Perhaps in His haste or distraction or many, many conveyor belts to man, He misses one.
What am I thinking?
When God allows something to come into my life, He does not catch it at the wrapping station. He began the process. From the mixing of the chocolate—scratch that—from the cocoa on the tree and even before, He was orchestrating. And nothing on its way to me is bad, covered in a thin layer of mitigating goodness. God controls the whole process. Everything He orchestrates is for my good.
Totally and completely, to the core.