Since nothing in creation can separate the genuine believer from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, then we must conclude that every earthly separation is not meant to separate us from our Savior. Instead, it is intended to draw us nearer. Though earthly separation may be the result of sinful human actions, our responsibility is to make sure that we are not the guilty party. Immediately there arises in some minds the tension between the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. Many a person has gotten overwhelmed trying to reconcile that tension. Or far worse, many a person has become misled trying to erase it. But between those two points, we should see, instead of tension, "mystery and majesty."

So the true Christian has this promise to rest upon: nothing that happens in your life is outside of the will of God. It is all in the will of God. The very things that seem to be disastrous are in fact the "all things" of Romans 8:28. Between the "justification" and the "glorification" of verse 30, you have the sanctification of "being conformed to the image of Christ" in verse 29. And just as refined gold needs fire, carved wood needs the knife, repaired wounds need the scalpel, so the sanctified Christian needs conforming. And conforming involves suffering. And suffering involves earthly separation. The One whose likeness we are being conformed to was described in Isaiah 53 as "despised and rejected." Though he lived in earthly separation from the people who rejected him, he lived in perfect fellowship with his Father who was always well pleased with him.

As you think of those who have rejected you and the Savior who has accepted you, remember that your separation from them does not mean your separation from him. As you wait for your current separation to transform to a future unification, remember that the sinful things, the evil things, the confusing things, or the despicable things are the "all things" that, though not good, "work together for good." And, as you patiently look forward to the unrevealed and providential plan of God now, plan to see a temporal mystery. But, know that you graciously and thankfully will one day look back at the accomplished will of God performed, and you will behold an eternal majesty.

"And therein lies the mystery and majesty of God’s providence. Although we didn’t and couldn’t have known it at the time, God was ordering our steps, even by the agency of others’ sin, to bring us to that [place of blessing] four years later to introduce us to the [object of blessing] that he had ordained for us all along."
~James Duncan