Sunday, April 06, 2008

In All Things God Works for the Good----oh Really?

Disclaimer: I am not sure why it has been so difficult for me to craft this post. I started on it well over two weeks ago and have anguished through the revision to final publishing--yet I know I was meant to put it out there for you...

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. Romans 8:28

How do we find God's glory in difficult situations? In the midst of pain, where is the "good" for those who "love him, who have been called according to his purpose"?

The dichotomy of the heartache, pain, and struggle that plagues our lives is that one is totally within our control, and one is not. Simply because we live in an imperfect world tragedy can assault our lives. We did not cause the pain, it just happened---death and illness are examples. Sometimes; however, we create our pain. Through poor decisions, even sinful actions we make a mess of our lives and are left with the fall out. In these situations we are forced to take personal responsible for the misery in our lives. It matters little in the long run HOW heartbreak enters our lives, we are still broken and bruised; left wondering how these life tradgedies can possibly ALL work for the good?

Honestly, the “good” may be extremely difficult to find at first—the hurt is too raw. For those of us who have experienced tragic circumstances beyond our control, I believe God can comfort and give strength as we (and those connected to us) begin to work through our heartbreak. The "good" that comes from such tragedy is that we can become stronger people with invincible faith. As our faith grows, we have the opportunity to "pay it forward". Do I think God creates tragedy in my life because I ask for a deeper walk—NOT AT ALL? But by being open to spiritual growth, I allow God to work the miracle of healing in my own heart and to guide me so that “good” can be accomplished.

Likewise, blatant acts of sin are just that---evil and contrived. Sometimes seeing “good” in sinful consequences seems impossible, but God is capable of changing one’s heart and mind in miraculous ways and yes, even turning evil into something “good” for His glory. In my opinion, from conception to death ALL life has Godly potential. God’s grace exceeds what the human mind can fathom.

When examining my own condition, I realized that if “good” didn’t come out of our tragedy then Don’s death was in vane. All I know is that following Don's death; God worked something equal to a miracle in my life. I struggled to redefine my existence without Don and my familiar role as his wife. I didn’t like anything about my new existence. I hated being a single parent, homeowner and person. I couldn't have faced the situation; let alone grown from it all on my own. Hopefully God has been glorified in the aftermath and some “good” has come from the pain.

Through faith, I accepted my plight (at least most of the time) and continuously pursued ways to thrive within the parameters of my new identity. Even as I type this, my words seem trite and simple. It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to work through in my entire life. I am not the person I was before Don died and at times I have a difficult time even finding fragments of who I was before, but slowly I am seeing that God can take tragedy and make good come from it. Not only that, I WANT desperately to “claim” that “goodness”.

There is hope that that life’s tragedies won’t be in vane and that despite great sorrow—all things CAN work for the good.

This I know for sure…

3 comments:

anniegirl1138 said...

I was talking with another writer and she mentioned that her Yoga instructor was always reminding her to not resist (during a pose) but to give in to it. She uses that line on her children when they are rebelling against things that are good for them in the long run but not so much fun now. "Quit resisting". Widowed give that advice when talking about grief but they don't take it the next logical step which is to not resist your new reality.

Nice post.

Marsha said...

WOW--that's it ANNIE!!
Thank you,
M

Shelly said...

Marsha,

I don't think it will surprise you when I say that this post resonated with me.

I have read it several times....thought about it, etc.

My reflection on it is that I was reminded that we tend to forget how predictable heartache is....we all will experience heartache because of the nature of the world we live in and because of our nature. On the other hand, the miraculous, sacred, amazing part of life is watching how God CAN bring good and beauty out of anything, even tragedy. I tend to look at things in reverse....life is amazing until something bad happens.....when in reality, life includes LOTS of bad and we should be amazed when we experience the good that only God can be credited for bring about...

Thanks for your thoughtful post...