A friend who has now passed shared his view on the events in his life. In every situation what he initially that was bad turned out to be good (cancer, heart failure) and what he thought good (healing) turned out to merely be the precursor to something bad. In the end he stated he no longer could tell if an event was good or bad. Life just “is”. As the gray dominates my hair color I find myself reaching the same conclusion.
Is today’s beauty good? The answer depends on how I respond, what actions I take. There is little to no correlation between the criteria I use to categorize the present with what happens in time. As I reflect on my history I find God using the terrible tragedies of life, the evil of others and myself, to teach and guide me. Given the state I find myself in now I wonder what would I change knowing the end. Would I avoid the pain and anguish of a community civil war knowing that it was the process which opened me up to an extended period of learning and growth? How would I replay my choices and decisions, knowing that I began to see God more clearly because of mistakes and errors?
One commentator came to a similar conclusion when looking at a large communities interaction with God. “Has God knocked them to the ground as he knocked down those who hit them? Oh, no. Were they killed as their killers were killed? Again, no. He was hard on them all right. The exile was a harsh sentence. He blew them away on a fierce blast of wind. But the good news is that through this experience Jacob's guilt was taken away.” (Isaiah 27.7-9a)
The simple conclusion is this; God is working in and through life to touch your soul and mine. We can, as we open ourselves up, see God at work in the dust, junk, and flotsam of life. The good or bad news emerges from our answer to God’s call.
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