Summary: Your life is not the product of random forces acting upon random events to create random circumstances. Your life is the result of a very intentional God who is working out a divine plan in and through your life.
Framing Your Life, Romans 8:28-31
A few years ago I purchased an old house in Tarpon Springs, Florida. It was a real “fixer-upper.” It was built in the early 1920’s just a few blocks from the Anclote River which spills into the Gulf of Mexico less than a mile from there.
As a result of being so near the ocean, the house is quit literally built on sand. In fact in the back yard I often sifted through the sand – where the grass seeds I planted would never grow – in search of sea shells.
One afternoon near the time when we had first moved into house I was hanging several picture frames. As I quickly discovered, the wall on that portion of the house was still the original lath and plaster.
In case you are not familiar with this old style of building material, allow me to enlighten you… when it is first built lath are small boards about the thickness of a ruler strung all the way across the frame of a room.
Then plaster – very much like the plaster used to create a handprint of a child in kindergarten, for example – is applied to the boards. What you end up with is a very nice, smooth wall.
But if you wait a hundred years or so, you end up with a very brittle and often cracked wall that will crumble if you stare at it too hard!
So, this particular afternoon I was hanging picture frames in our new house when I began to have some trouble. I got to a point where I was hanging this little shelf thing to place pictures on.
It was one of these very trendy things which probably came from Bed Bath & Beyond or the Home Store or something. I first tried using a nail but every time I hammered one in all of the plaster around it would just crumble!
I tried several nails buy the same thing happened with every one! So then I tried a screw. I figured that a good long drywall screw would do the trick. So I got out my electric drill which I had just purchased because as a new home owner of course you need a good set of power tools!
I drove the screw into the wall and figured; “Now that’ll do it!”
Then I went to wiggle the screw just a little bit to make sure that it was sunk in there good and tight… but when I wiggled it, it fell off in my hand! Before the screw I had a huge area of my wall which was covered in little holes and now I had one colossal hole in the wall which was shaped just like the number 8!
The next thing I did was to go out to my shed and find the biggest most oversized nail I could find! I hammered that thing in the wall just over the 8-shaped hole until it was nearly coming out the other side of the wall, I found the biggest picture we owned, stuck it up on the wall and walked away!
Frames: we are always framing things that are important to us aren’t we. We can spend so much time looking for just the right frame to house an important picture. We frame diplomas; we frame baby pictures, awards, and mementos.
It occurs to me, though, that whether we do it intentionally or it just sort of develops, that we place our entire lives with the context of some kind of frame.
A frame gives shape to something. It defines the borders of a picture or an object. It decorates a thing. But most of all, it gives perspective to something.
In Romans 8:28-31 the Apostle Paul writes, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (ESV)
Today, I want to talk to you about framing your life because whether you know it or not, your life is encompassed by some kind of frame. Your thoughts, your actions, your motives, your intentions, and oh yes, even your faith all reside within the context of some kind of frame.
In this passage of Scripture the Apostle Paul tells us that all things work together for good to them who are called according to God’s divine purpose. Inherent in this passage is the idea that God, in fact, has a divine purpose for your life.