God Can Make Sense of the Past

While working in education, you get the opportunity to meet amazing people along the way!

Sometimes these people share similar backgrounds or interests as you which is great because rarely do I find people that are devout practicing Christians.

Some school years ago, I had the privilege of befriending a coworker that I’m proud to call a Brother in Christ.

When I started my paternity leave some months ago, he reached out to me and from that day, he has consistently sent daily reflections on Scripture.

He is a minister who regularly preaches at his worship community, so he has a keen eye for life application themed faith enrichment. His daily messages are always invigorating and touch on good topics.

Recently, he sent me a reflection that was rooted in Philippians 3:13. In his reflection, he stressed the importance of struggling with letting go of the past while emphasizing the truth that God can work all things together for good.

This message, as with plenty of his daily messages, got me thinking: when have I noticed the work of God in my past? Especially, what actions has God done to make good out of suffering and the massive toxic upbringing of growing up in the inner city?

For me, growing up in a crazy household was sometimes hectic.

Sometimes unemployment was a standard occurrence.

Alcoholism and drug abuse were prevalent by family members and a sibling.

Being raised in an upper-middle-class way of living then shifting to poverty was devastating!

Seeing family members with mental illness, sometimes undiagnosed, forced me to distance myself and temporarily relocate for a big chunk of my sophomore and a small portion of junior year of high school.

During this moment of my life, I was perhaps an atheist or irreligious and God was never at the forefront of my family’s life.

Yet, it wasn’t until college that I realized God was present during these moments of utter confusion.

It took God’s loving providence on a semester final in a core class that I enjoyed, but was miserable at, to reiterate God saying “I got your back, Son.”

I ended up passing with a B+ but only because God intervened during my casework interview, that I had 0 knowledge of. With the help of God’s miraculous help, I picked the one case I knew out of many in a box of scenarios: case management, confidentiality, and AIDS patients.

I passed the interview with an A, but what a great miracle that was for my baby faith in God.

Months later, I had a conversation with conservative Baptist Aunt who is a pastor’s wife and a great woman of faith. During our talk, she asked me did I trust in God. Thankfully, I recounted the experience on my exam and how God is worthy of my obedience.

Perhaps at that moment, I realized that God can take that horrible sinful past and make sense of it through the resurrection because there I was: young, black with a B minus GPA in college on a knowable path to success.

Far from the radical household I grew up in.

At that moment, I felt blessed and happy. I was thankful for the journey, growth, and future I had following a trustworthy God.

Above all, I was secure!

Now, I see the glory of the resurrection and I don’t think I would’ve comprehended the past well without the knowledge of it. In fact, Jesus said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”

Be inspired by this! I hope you’re encouraged and realize God’s faithfulness in your life. Take nothing for granted!

Follow me: @Menny_Thoughts
My podcast: @Priestly_Passion


  1. Speaking of suffering and success stories, there sure is a lot more to be said about jumping between rags and riches, don’t you think? We tend to think that we don’t need to work harder when we reach a higher state of life, but that would be forgetting stuff like what the Lord says in Luke 12:48: “Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.” It makes me think of money, fame, and power as jobs rather than toys, and of our pride in using them as the latter also resulting in stuff like the way we loathe ourselves doing work. On the other hand, with faith in God, work truly becomes dignifying, whether you’re in rags or in riches! Such a wonderful God we have, indeed!


    • I love what Jesus said in Luke 12. It makes me wonder about how much has God actually given me and what have I done with what He has given me so far.

      In the Garden of Eden, God esteemed work. Adam had a holy job from God. Moreover, God worked for six days so by our work, we sorta participate in God’s character which is rewarding to think about.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Why worry about not having many at the moment when we can already do a lot with just a few, yeah? And striving to faithfully emulate God certainly is rewarding. After all, we’re emulating Perfection, and although we tend to fall short, the activity called faith keeps us up and upper, turning work into a truly worthwhile thing.

        Liked by 1 person

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