“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)
It seems we all tend to view the events of our lives as either good or bad. If I get a promotion at my work, at much better pay, that is seen as a good thing. If my car won’t start in the morning, and I miss an essential flight to an important business meeting, that is a bad thing.
At first glance, these things seem fairly easily determined. Favorable occurrences are good. Unfavorable ones are bad.
So if good things are happening, life is good. But if bad things are happening, life is bad. This is how many people view, and define their lives.
But… Let’s go back to our original scenarios. What if my promotion at work means so many long hours that I lose touch with my wife and kids. I am no longer involved in their lives because I have to do my job. The promotion, now… good or bad?
And what if that flight I missed actually crashed and all lives were lost. Missing that flight, now… good or bad?
It turns out that good and bad is not always so easily determined, after all. Because every occurrence in our lives leads to other possibilities… and those possibilities have their own various possibilities… and on and on…
The real challenge in life is to live in such a way that I am not so quick to judge the goodness or badness of an occurrence – but to act, and react, with wisdom.
Wisdom is knowing what is best for our lives. And ultimately, wisdom is how God views things. If something “bad” occurs in our lives – we do not let our emotions rage, but we rest in the Sovereign care of the God Who loves us (even if, at that particular moment, it may not seem so obvious). God never promises that bad things will not happen to us. He does promise that He will be with us, no matter what we face – and that all things will work together for good (Romans 8:28).
My wife and I were just talking about a family friend, who several years ago lost a baby in childbirth. Can you imagine anything more tragic? More… bad? I don’t understand these happenings. There are no wise words than end up making sense out of such a horrible event. How do we make sense out of the senseless?
But to hear our friend talk now, the pain of that tragedy turned her heart TO God, not away from Him. She found a depth of grace that only those who feel the deepest pain can ever know. And out of the ashes of her grief and sorrow, she grew in ways that would not have been possible without her suffering (her words!). She knows God more intimately. She has more compassion for other hurting people. She is not so quick to forget that all things are in God’s loving hands. And she is resting in the fact that her precious child is safely in the arms of Jesus.
This is not to say that we should seek tragedy, hardship, or suffering for our lives – it is just to say that “bad” things can actually be the means of bringing great good into our lives. And sometimes we just might be surprised to see just how much good they can actually bring…
And sometimes we just might be surprised to see just how much good they can actually bring…
Prayer focus: God, help me to rest in Your loving care for me… even when life doesn’t turn out like I hoped it would…