Take the bad with the good

Published 2:51 pm Friday, October 5, 2018

Electronics have made some aspects of our lives easier and quicker, such as obtaining personal medical information with a few clicks of the keyboard.  But the convenience of such data gathering is not flawless and sometimes there are snags to be endured.  As I was working to find the status of a matter regarding our health insurance, I struggled to get the site to function properly.  Finally, after making my attempts, it appeared that my persistence had paid off and I was about to view the results that I had been seeking.  Shortly before, an afternoon rain had passed through our area and blessed us with a cooling shower.  Although it seemed that the storm was over, just as I reached the point of obtaining the sought after information a huge boom of thunder—with the volume of an exploding stick of dynamite–suddenly sounded off.  Following that there was an immediate interruption of our electricity, and then my computer went dead.  The power came back on almost as quickly as it had gone out, but it was off long enough to cause me to lose all the data I had worked to access.  As I sat in my home office with disgust after having worked so fervently to obtain important information, there was nothing I could do except remember that we sometimes have to take the bad with the good.

In a few days Raegan, the youngest of our grandchildren, will be celebrating her first birthday.  In the first twelve months of her life she has already gotten enough taste of life to realize that there are some bad experiences to be endured.  The other day her mother contacted me to let me know that Raegan was bitten by another child at daycare.  Like other grandparents, I could not help but feel a little anger about it.  But I also recalled that it was only a few years ago that her sister, who was staying at that same facility, was the kid who was biting other children.  Even though Raegan realizes that the place where she stays while her mother and daddy are at work provides for her and protects her, she is also learning that life is not always easy.  She experiences mostly good in her life, but there are, and will continue to be throughout her life, some bad things to endure.

Paul and Silas, two men of God found in the New Testament, knew how to endure the bad that came even as they did what was good.  After remarkable success in their ministry, they soon found themselves thrown into prison because some did not like what they were accomplishing for God.  Yet even under those circumstances, the Bible states that “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25, New International Version).  What a God-honoring way to face the difficult times in life!

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The challenges of life that seem bad at the moment do not mean that circumstances will always stay that way.  Soon after the computer went down I was able to return to what I had been trying to do and finally obtained the information that I had sought.  And after a few days the big bruise on Raegan’s arm that was the result of her being bitten by one of her little playmates soon faded away with no lasting damage.   We do sometimes have to take the bad with the good, but we must not lose heart. Instead, we are to press on with confidence that God is in control no matter what.  These words of King David can serve as a source of encouragement as we navigate through the tough seasons of life:  “You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever” (Psalm 30:11-12).