Life sometimes gets the best of us. It is a rare person who has the gifts to be able to find the good in all bad situations.
My family has faced some obstacles recently. From my point of view we have two choices:
1. We can see it has a stumbling block and become discouraged, frustrated and just give up.
2. We can turn the stumbling block into stepping stones.
We do not know what God has planned for us. Sometimes we fail to listen to what God is calling us too in our life, we try and explain what God is trying to do. But it isn’t that easy….
As we read in the book of Job. He is a righteous man who suffers greatly and displays amazing piety. Throughout 35-chapters we read about the dialogue between Job and his “friends” and the response of God that follows.
There is so much in the book: the figure of the Satan, the divine wager, the losses that Job experiences — particularly the loss of his children, Job’s responses, etc.
Job responds to his suffering twice in the prologue. The first time, after he’s lost his wealth and his children, he talks about his suffering in the images of birth and death: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (1:21). After boils cover his body, and challenged by his wife to “Curse God and die,” Job’s responds by saying: “Shall we receive the good at the hand of God and not receive the bad?” (2:10).2
Too many times in my life I have cursed the bad things in my life and give thanks for the good. Job is an example of someone who has kept faith and patience in the midst of adversity.
God is much bigger than we could ever imagine. It doesn’t matter how bad a situation may seem at first, we can trust that God is faithful to us no matter when we need God. I don’t think we should pretend things are wonderful when, in fact, they are bad. But, if we can accept pain and disappointment as a part of life, if we can see it for what it is and then move past it, if we can look disaster in the face and call it what it is — and then find a blessing in it — then we will have the ability to make the best of bad situation.
There are so many great people who have failed over and over again, they did so even before they made something great out of themselves. God tells us that we can do that too!
THE PRAYER: Thank you for being a big God. Thank you for being big enough that you can carry all our worries, hurts and burdens. Amen.