The Good and The Bad
“Life is good!” said someone the other day. On one hand I am very happy that things are going well for her, and yet this declaration has caused me some discomfort. For at that moment life certainly does not feel good at all, and those words sting ! Furthermore, I know there are many godly men and women suffering right now either from terminal illness, chronic pains, financial burden or other dire situations. And I wonder if they feel life is good for them.
While I was reflecting on this, a hand stitched bookmark fell out of my Bible. It was one I made years ago as a novice embroider. The “wrong” side of the bookmark looks extremely unkempt, with knots and ends tangled in a random fashion which made the design illegible. But when you turn over to the “right” side, you can distinctly see a picture of an angel with a dove. I remember the reason I have this piece of work in my Bible is to remind me of an important truth: Life is messy here on earth, it is only when we are on the other side of eternity, when we finally get to the “right” side, we will be able to understand God’s grand plan for us and the reasons for these agonizing events.
Max Lucado wrote: “We must let God define ‘good.’ Our definition includes health, comfort, and recognition. His definition? In the case of his Son, Jesus Christ, the good life consisted of struggles, storms, and death. But God worked it all together for the greatest of good: his glory and our salvation.” This is according to Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This often quoted verse is known as a “soft pillow for hard times”, it is used to comfort people who are suffering. The reality for those who are in afflictions often is the difficulty to see beyond the immediate pain. Our idea of goodness is often misconstrued by one’s expectations and perspectives and thus it is arduous to recognize and acknowledge God’s goodness. With our limited understanding, it is challenging to find good in uncomfortable situations. However, this boils down to faith, which is the “core” of Christian life. It is to rest utterly in Him and in His character and to trust Him even when it is difficult to do so.
Life is certainly difficult here on earth. As for told by our Lord, troubles and storms will come our way. Life itself is not good, but Life with God is good—–as long we see things through His eyes and trust Him with all our heart.