I’ve been thinking about that word aftermath. Out of curiosity, I looked it up on Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. One of the meanings is: the period immediately following a usually ruinous event. Not satisfied with what I found I dug into the etymology of the word. The first known use was in 1523. The math being referred to is an archaic term. It once meant “mowing a crop”. It came to its current meaning because of the destructive nature of the first mowing and that the second growth after the mowing usually wasn’t as good as the first. With everything that’s going on in the world, there are so many people living in the aftermath of something. The aftermath that you may find yourself in right now may seem overwhelming. It may seem like that event forever changed you. Like the grass that’s been mowed, you’re afraid that you’ll never be as “good” as you were before. The truth is that there are events that happen in life that change us. Something devastating happens, a loved one dies unexpectedly, someone betrays you…those events will change you. In the midst of those events, we have choices. We can handle it God’s way or our own way. Here’s what I know, God ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS works ALL things for our good and His glory. Usually, we don't see it immediately but we will see it. I want everything that happens in my life to turn out for my good but more than that, I want Him to be glorified. What the enemy meant for evil, in a way that only He can, God will turn it for your good. Though it’s been my experience many times, that’s not my promise to you. Regardless of what you may be facing today, this is God's promise to you. Genesis 50:20 says: As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. God didn’t cause the evil in your life. He will use it though and who knows how many people will be saved as a result…for such a time as this. It might be impossible for you to even be able to imagine how God can use your present circumstances for good. Leave that to Him. He specializes in the impossible.

The Bible tells the stories of countless men and women who dealt with the aftermath of seemingly ruinous events. Circumstances may have been caused by their own mistakes and sins. Evil was perpetrated against others.

Joseph dealt with the aftermath of familial betrayal and was sold into slavery. He was falsely accused and imprisoned. God used him to save his family and a nation from starvation.

Moses lived in the aftermath of committing murder but yet he was the one who led God’s chosen people out of slavery. He even experienced the glory of God on the mountaintop.

Esther was orphaned but God used her to save the nation of Israel.

David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. Jesus is known as the Son of David. The aftermath of David’s sin couldn’t stop him from being in the lineage of Jesus.

The aftermath of Jonah’s rebellion included the digestive tract of a big fish. God used him to bring revival to the city of Nineveh.

In the aftermath of shame and scandal, Mary bore Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

I could list story after story of men and women who had to spend time in the aftermath of a ruinous event. What’s your story? What aftermath are you living in today? Your own actions may be the cause or maybe someone else was a tool of the enemy. Perhaps you’re dealing with addictions that have left you alone and penniless. Let God write the rest of your story. The present situation that you’re in doesn’t determine your future. You don’t have to stay in the aftermath. Through the strength and peace of God let Him write His grace and mercy on your life. What you’re dealing with right now isn’t the end of your story. If you allow Him to work in your life, He will restore you. You'll be better than you could even imagine. Others will take notice and God will use you as a vessel of healing. Jennifer Craft