It's All Good
#175 Sunshine and Clouds
#176 Rain and Drought
#177 Soft breezes and Ferocious Wind
#178 Brisk Winter Days and Suffocating Summer Days
#179 Health and Illness
#180 Sleep and Sleeplessness
#181 Energy and Exhaustion
#182 Abundance and Poverty
#183 Sweetness and Bitterness
#184 Love and Hate
#185 Compassion and Apathy
#186 Safety and Danger
#187 Life and Death
#188 Good and Evil
And the list could go on with hundreds of contrasts, of opposites, of the "good" and "bad" that makes up the totality of our lives. Most of our "gift" lists of God's graces lean toward the "feel good," the "easy," the "comfortable." The circumstances that allow us to sleep late, have fun, and enjoy life with little or no inconvenience. You know, the times when, without even thinking, we shift on to auto pilot because God is really taking care of us....... right???? After all, "He is good....."
So what about the times when the "bad," the "hard," the "painful," become the norm.
When we think:
"What did I do wrong?"
"Why is God doing this to me?"
"God, enough all ready."
And then Scripture speaks: And he said, "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21( ESV)
"He (Job) replied, 'You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?' In all this, Job did not sin in what he said." Job 2:10
So why do God's children some times act ungodly when the "bad," the "hard," the "painful," happen? Why do we struggle to trust Him with His plan for our lives? With the circumstances He brings to teach us to trust Him and know who He is?
Many years ago I spoke at a college chapel service in Minneapolis, sharing my testimony of God's work and grace through the then 14 years since the car accident that left my husband with a serious closed head injury.
The words God gave me then, still ring true today. I said, "People ask me why I think God brought this accident into our lives. I tell them that I have seen some reasons but the truth is I don't need to know why, I just need to know God."
Are there days when I struggle and get upset with God's plan? Absolutely! There are days when I say, "Are you sure this was your plan? Is this really what you meant?" And then He reminds me of all I've learned about Him and His grace and love that I wouldn't have learned if I hadn't have been so helpless, so needy, so hurt. He brings to mind people who wouldn't have crossed our path if Larry would have been the provider for our family, if I hadn't needed help through the years from so many, if it hadn't been so obvious that we needed others.
And then He reminds me of some that have been helped by our story—His story—that He is weaving so His strength and power and grace and love can be seen.......not Darnly's strength and power and love but God's.
Because He loves, she is learning to love.
Because He gives strength, she is learning to persevere in His strength.
Because He gives pain, hard times, bad things, she is learning to understand others pain and hurt, and then show compassion and love.
The most powerful life lessons don't come from the "easy" part of life.
But because of rain in the desert and water that runs deep, even the cacti can bloom and bring glory to their maker.
"Thank you, Lord, for the hard, the bad, and the painful circumstances that you have brought. Help me to always be aware of Your presence, your plan, your will in everything that happens; and then, even through the tears, help me to say 'Thank YOU.' Father, also through your grace, let me find all I need in You even, yes Lord, EVEN in the 'good' times when my fallen nature turns inward and says, 'Me'. AMEN."