Looking for the good in things gone bad is hard work. Since we typically go with the flow, we don’t spend a lot of time trying to find the benefit in our problems. Problems, by definition, are undesirable disruptions to our lives. Our goal is to get out of them not analyze them to find value.
At this point in my recovery from the flu I have lost my sense of taste. Surely it will come back but in the meantime I’m trying to look for the benefits. One is drinking soured milk. I have this repulsion to soured milk. I suspect what’s left in the container has gone bad but since I can’t taste it, I’m still using it on my cereal. Of course I can’t taste my cereal either so I’m eating out of duty rather than pleasure.
As you, I’ve heard stories about people who have gone to their doctor with one complaint only to find in examination they had a much more serious situation secretly attacking their life. Had they not had the initial problem, the doctor would not have discovered the more serious problem.
My dad was scheduled to ship out for the Philippines in WWII. The day before, he went to the dentist to get a tooth fixed and while there the doctor thought he could address another problem with experimental radiation. My dad got sick from the treatment. So while his battalion pulled away and headed into conflict, my dad lay in a hospital bed recovering. As a result of the radiation, my dad developed cancer leading to subsequent surgeries and treatment. By surface evaluation the Dentist really messed up. But later he discovered that when his buddies arrived in the Philippines they encountered harsh battle. Most of the men in his outfit never returned from the war. Had he not experienced the problems with the dentist, he very likely could have been a casualty of the war. The bad the dentist did actually turned out to be a blessing for my dad.
It’s hard to think that in the midst of our difficulties God may be doing a special work that makes what seems bad become good, but that’s what He promised.
Paul spent much time imprisoned because of opposition to his work. How bad that must have been! Yet,
while he was imprisoned, he wrote some of the most important books of the New Testament. God took ugly and made it beautiful.
Somewhere, hidden within our circumstances, is the good God wants us to discover. Look for it. Hold off any final assessment whereby we characterize our situation as bad, hopeless or tragic until we see what He’s up to. Believe in the good. Sometimes you just can’t get there without going through this.
Endure the storm but anticipate the rainbow.