And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. -Genesis 45:5 (NIV)
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. -Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)
“If I hadn’t done X, then Y wouldn’t have happened.”
You might say that out of regret, crediting yourself for creating a mess that didn’t exist before, beating yourself up to the enemy’s delight. Or, you might say that out of pride, feeling that it was your actions that made a positive outcome possible.
The real truth is, God already knew what you would do, and what part you would play. In fact, He knows and allows every move and action you have taken, are taking, and will take…all the way to the end of your life. And He will use all things, all actions, and all outcomes, to His glory.
He will use what you incorrectly condemn yourself with–or credit yourself with–to make a way where there seems to be no way. He will use your storyline and weave it into others, and will make a beautiful tapestry with all of it.
Bottom line: It’s not really about you, no matter how much you want to zero in on your doings. It’s all about Him and His plans.
Realize that when you’re done wallowing in guilt or beaming with pride, God needs you to remember that He is the One who will rightly get the credit for making everything work out on a grander scale. Look up to Him, not down at the ground, or in the mirror. If anything, it is because He loves us that He will use all things for our good and His glory!