I’ve attended a morning Bible study for about a year and a half now. I absolutely love it. It consists of about ten women, most of them older, and much wiser, than me. I look forward to meeting with them each Wednesday.
This January, I decided to take a break from Bible study, hoping that I could focus more of my time on writing. However, removing it from my schedule didn’t help me much, so I decided to return a couple of weeks ago. I missed it. I missed them. My heart is full once again. These ladies have no idea how they bless and encourage me, I appreciate their love so much.
Something that shook me up came up in a conversation yesterday. One lady said she thought good things come from God and bad things come from Satan. I pondered that for a bit, and disagreed. She said she couldn’t understand how bad things happen to good people. Things like illnesses, death, accidents, with Ian’s situation as an example.
I was careful about what I said next. I told her that I thought God gives and God takes away. We are happy to take the good, but is it our place to be angry when he takes away? We can’t choose to only take the good and not the bad.
When our family was in Ruidoso last week, something remarkable happened. On our last day there, I called the local stables to see if we could go horseback riding that day. A sweet lady answered and explained that they were all booked for the day, but asked if we could come the following day. I explained that it was our last day there and asked her to please call if she had any cancelations. She said she doubted it very much, but she would take my name and number. When we hung up, I prayed that God would find a way. I knew our kids would love horseback riding, and we wouldn’t have another opportunity like this for a while. We went on with our day and found something else to do.
At about 4 o’clock, only five minutes after the kids woke up from their afternoon naps, my phone rang. Guess who it was? The nice lady from the horse stables! She said that she had a cancelation and asked if we could be there in an hour. I told her we would be there and thanked her so much. As petty as it sounds, I believe that God answered that little prayer of mine.
While we drove there, I told Ian about this. I explained that I prayed for God to work out a way for us to ride and He did. I told him that I believe with all my heart that prayer works. Ian replied, “What if we had a car accident right now and one of us got hurt? Would you still think it was God?”
“Yes, I would. If that happened I know that God would get us through it. We can’t choose to only acknowledge that it was Him for the good things and not when things turn out badly.”
Ecclesiastes 7:14 (New Living Translation) says,
Enjoy prosperity while you can. But when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. That way you will realize that nothing is certain in this life.
Another tranlation (NASB) says,
In the day of prosperity be happy,
But in the day of adversity consider—
God has made the one as well as the other
So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.
And finally, The Message version says,
On a good day, enjoy yourself;
On a bad day, examine your conscience.
God arranges for both kinds of days
So that we won’t take anything for granted.
There you have it. Both good and bad come from God. He has an ultimate plan, and sometimes that includes bad things for good people. For Ian and me, for example, our bad experience has taught us so many good things. Our family and friends (and even people we don’t know) have been touched by our bad experience. God used it in a positive way.
A while back Ian and I were talking about how things for us will never be like they were before. He said, “They won’t be like before, they will be better than before.” I couldn’t agree more. 🙂