When I was in junior high, my family took a four-week summer vacation, driving from Pennsylvania to California to visit my aunt and sightsee along the way. Early on in the first week, we heard a family friend preach about “God things.” “God things” start out as situations that aren’t too favorable, but somehow turn around in the end. They can also be an outcome or gift that you didn’t even realize you needed.
My family realized we had already encountered several “God things” and then became more and more aware of them as we looked. One such experience was when we were in danger of being stranded after having engine problems with our van in Wyoming. We were able to make it to a small gas station in the middle of nowhere, which happened to have a full-time mechanic who willingly ran a diagnostic test despite it being near the end of his shift. After replacing a faulty wire for next to nothing, we were on our way, having met a compassionate stranger. God took our bad situation and worked through it.
At the time of Jesus’ death, I’m sure it was next to impossible for Jesus’ followers to imagine any good coming out of the situation. Knowing now of the resurrection, however, it’s easy to see Jesus’ death as the beginning of a “God thing” as God worked through the hopeless situation and brought about life-giving good.