Thirteen years ago today, on the feast day of the Conversion of Saint Paul and Super Bowl Sunday, a man broke into my home and brutally assaulted me in my bed at a few minutes after 3:00 a.m.. I was lucky to be alive, and a judge I knew at the time told me, "God must have something very special planned for you."
The truth is that God does have something special planned for me. But I am not unique, as the reality is that He has something special planned for each and every person on our planet. The question is, are we able to accept His special and unique plans for us? Are we able to love His will more than we love our own will?
I suffered in seeming darkness for a number of years after I was attacked by this still unknown stranger. But when I ultimately gave up trying to heal my own mind, I finally relented, and gave my mind and my whole self, to God. It is a long story of great grace and great love and miraculous healing, but the happy ending is that instead of living my life in darkness, seeing no need for God, He used this attack to bring about a greater good. HE ALWAYS DOES THAT IF WE LET HIM. He used the attack to knock me off my horse, in much the same way He did to Paul. Of course Paul had a real horse, God spoke out loud to Him and he became blind for awhile, but my horse was just as real to me. It was the pride and the arrogance of believing that I was in control of everything and did not need anyone but myself. I had no need for God until I fell on my butt and needed help to get up.
Now let there be no confusion: GOD DID NOT CAUSE THIS MAN TO ATTACK ME. He does not cause drunk people to kill people in car accidents, nor does He cause people to be mugged, or raped or murdered or husbands to beat their wives or anything at all that is evil. He may permit these things as a consequence of the Fall and our own free will, but He will always use them to bring about a greater good---ALWAYS.
I hate when well-meaning people say that 'bad things always happen for a reason.' That is simply not true, not helpful, and waaaayyy too new-agey for me. The only reason evil things happen is because people make bad decisions that bring about bad actions and bad consequences. So while things do not happen for a good reason, God uses those bad things to bring about a good result if we let Him. There is a big difference in this. Maybe I am not explaining this well, but it is like saying that God wants or makes these bad things to happen so He can use them for a greater good. NOT TRUE. God does not want these bad things to happen, nor does He make them happen. He is pure good and perfection and incapable of evil. He may not always stop them from happenning, but He always gives us the grace to handle them and bring about a greater conversion or greater love or greater forgiveness or whatever it is that is lacking in our own spiritual (and sometimes physical) well-being. A good can never be diminshed by an evil. Case in point: The greatest evil in history---DEICIDE--The murder of Jesus, our GOD. And yet this seemingly abject failure of a mission, brought about the redemption and salvation of countless souls, past, present and future. There can be no greater gift than this. God permitted the worst evil known to mankind to be committed against Himself, and He used it to bring about the greatest good of all time--Eternal life for us, with Him, in paradise.
God, our Father, is calling each of us to Himself through Jesus, His only begotten Son. No one should ever believe that they can not 'get over' this or that traumatic event. With Christ, all things are possible, and all evil can be made good by Him who is all good, all knowing, all powerul and all loving.
Let it be done according to Your Will, Lord. Fiat.