I've always been told that God does things for a reason.
I think to revamp that a little, I would say that what God does, He does for a reason. What we do that is outside of His plan or because of our own free will, He can use for a reason.
I was reminded of this when I saw Deanna Storfie come to the church to perform "Impossible Faith" through her Christian Heroes series, featuring Corrie ten Boom. Corrie was a Jewish sympathizer who lived in Holland with her family when Hitler began his reign of terror. In their home, they rescued 100 Jews before a Dutch informant told the Gestapo what was happening and the ten Boom family was sent to several political camps, and finally Corrie and her sister Betsie ended up at Ravensbruck. It was there her sister died, Corrie was released due to a 'clerical error' and days later the older women were systematically murdered to get rid of those who were too old to be of much use (Corrie was in her 50s). It was a very powerful presentation, but what struck me most was when Storfie told of the fleas in Barracks 28.
She complained about the bites, the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements they created, and the fact they were everywhere in the Barracks.
Later, she wondered why the guards never came in to find them reading the little Bible she had smuggled in, and discovered it was because the fleas had been keeping them away.
What man had intended for evil, God has intended for good.
I was reminded of that again today when I could hardly walk against the wind. This was nothing that "man had intended for evil", but it certainly felt horribly uncomfortable. I really detest the wind... but as soon as I saw how many combines were out and how relieved the farmers were because the wind was probably quite literally a God-send along with the drying sunshine after the soaking rains we'd had, I realized that my perspective needed to change.
So I suppose there are two ways to look at it: either God can use our situations for good, or His reasons are totally unknown to us and are good even if we can't see why... but either way, maybe my perspective needs a shift sometimes. I can probably find a whole lot more hidden gems in unfortunate, frustrating, or challenging circumstances.