Thursday, August 19, 2010

Good Times, Bad Times...

Why do bad things happen to good people? It's an age old question. Who are "good" people anyway? For that matter ..what are "bad things"? Forgive me ....I do not intend to play with words ..and I can most definitely give some examples of bad things, and unfortunately of bad people as well. But as a follower of Christ (and frankly... only since being that) I am challenged to re-think good and / or bad circumstances. Scripture says that... my "righteousness is as filthy rags" ...before a holy, and just God. So the bad news is.... my "good" really isn't that good. But is my "bad" really that bad? My circumstances, I mean. I don't even need anyone to tell me that my intentions aren't always what they should be, that sometimes my motives are wrong. Try, as I may, to treat everyone fairly and justly ....I'm still a sin-natured being. So what does God do with all this ...our good, our bad, our ugly?

I love to hear those stories ....of people who have lost limbs, or use of them. Surely they ask.... "what have I done to deserve this?" In many instances, these folks push themselves to devour life. In many instances ....these people take life less for granted, and savour each moment as though it were their last. This is "good". They've found growth, and motivation in, otherwise, unfortunate circumstances. Jesus once brought great clarity to a moment like this.

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. -John 9:1-7

Scriptures also say that "all" have sinned ..and have fallen short of God's glorious standard. A friend of mine has a very good quote posted on his own Facebook profile. It says... "Never make excuses - Your friends don't need them, and your enemies won't believe them anyway". This is true. I like this. You and I, at the end of the day, must take responsibility ...for that which we are responsible. We can exercise our integrity, and save dignity, if we just do that at the beginning of the day. Take that a step further. Often the bad circumstances in our lives are not at any fault of our own. Yet ....we must live with them. We must endure them. You and I have a choice as to how we will do that. If difficulties, I mean real difficulties, haven't yet confronted you in life ....well, hang around. I don't want to be the bearer of bad news ...but life truly is hard quite often. We can wallow in that reality ....or we can wring reality's neck ....take lemons, and make lemonade! Or even better ...we can call on the God who created us, who very definitely "allowed" the circumstances in our lives ...and we can seek Him for whatever it is He desires we learn from it. He has promised ...I'll never leave, nor foresake you. He knows the plans He has for you, and me; plans for a hope and a future prosper ..not to harm us.

Our eternal Father knows, better than we, our temporary circumstances. And He desires that you and I know our eternal circumstance ...with Him. It is not His will that any should perish.

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