My wife and I were drawing near the end of our 700 mile road trip to visit three of our four wonderful no-longer-kids (in the beautiful locations of Warwick, Chester and the Lake District) when she organised an extra treat.
One of our locations was near a car assembly plant and visitors can have a guided tour. (I probably shouldn’t name the make of car but think of big cats, look at the pic and you’ll figure it out!)
So we reported at 9am, donned high-visibility jackets and ear protection and entered the huge body shop with our guide.
It was seriously impressive!
We started in a building where rolls of aluminium and steel were being straightened and cut to measure, then pressed into basic panels like a door or bonnet by many hundreds of tons of pressure. We emerged three hours later near where gleaming new cars were rolling off the line, starting their engines and honking horns for the first time.
In one building over 600 robots riveted, glued and welded body parts together.
In another hundreds of employees fitted wiring, seats, wheels etc. by hand.
The really amazing thing was something our guide called ‘sequencing’, the way exactly the correct parts for each individual car, to the tiniest detail, would arrive at each workstation at just the right moment to be fitted in the allocated time of just 88 seconds! You couldn’t help marvel at the excellence of design and efficiency of operation. So many people and machines working together in a very complex system to the same productive end.
One of my readings from the Bible this week was from the wonderful ch8 of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans. It includes this verse:
‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him…’ (v28)
There is a masterplan for the universe and for history as it unfolds. As the seasons change, God is at work. As new life sprouts and grows, God is working. And even when it gets dark, when the harvest fails, when war decimates lands and populations, when the world appears to be spiralling out of control, when evil seems free to flourish without restraint… God has not left the building but is working, for good, and those who love and trust Him will see it in time.
In Genesis chapters 37-50 jealous brothers sell their brother to slave-traffickers. In Egypt the young man is wrongly accused and jailed. But God is at work in all things and years later this man Joseph becomes a powerful leader in Egypt, saving thousands, including his father and brothers from famine.
In Acts 7 and 8 godly Stephen is martyred and the fledgling Church is scattered, but God is at work and the persecution, bitter as it is, brings a greater spread of the Gospel and many in other countries begin to taste God’s grace.
In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John the purest man who ever lived was set up by corrupt officials and brutally executed. But God was at work that Friday as He is every day. The powers connived, the disciples fled or worse, betrayed, and Jesus died. But more! Sin was atoned for, the devil defeated, our debt paid, forgiveness and salvation freely offered. All was worked together amazingly to a wonderful end, that flawed individuals like us could become adopted children of God, fruitful in His service and destined to enjoy life forevermore.
Then let those who gratefully love the Lord trust Him, not just for forgiveness, but for the often perplexing circumstances surrounding us each day.
God is at work in all things. For ultimately good purposes.
For those who love Him, who are dedicated to His cause, this is good news!