Warren Wiersbe once said: “It isn’t the normal demands of life that break us; it’s the painful surprises. We find ourselves fighting battles in a war we never declared, and carrying burdens for reasons we don’t understand.” Some of that may well be caused by the spiritual law of “reaping what we sow” but often unpleasant experiences happen to us even when we don’t break the rules. To those of us who can never find it in our hearts or minds to doubt the existence of God we are often forced to occupy one of at least two positions: either God is not as benevolent as we have often been taught He is, or, there is a lot more going on than we can even imagine. Small minds tend to occupy the first position. Those possessed of a little more maturity (and humility) seem to drift toward the second.
The reason I say that is because the longer you live the more opportunity you have to reflect upon your past experiences. I must confess that I have often labeled as “bad” many experiences I later found to produce “good.” In other words, I should be a little more cautious in putting the “bad” label on my experiences. “Painful” maybe, “inconvenient” surely, but “bad,” I found, requires far more understanding than I ever seem to possess at the time.
Someone once said “You Christians are spineless creatures. Unwilling to argue with your God you thank Him for good and bad alike and accept either as if there were no distinction between the two.” How I wish that were more generally true! However, I think spineless is hardly the word to describe those who are willing to accept whatever God brings to them. In fact, one of the most tortured souls the Bible presents to us once said, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 21:10). But it is the last part of that accusation I find to be especially true. I can’t always know the distinction between “good” and “bad” because of the great promise God has given to all His children: “...in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8:28). It is this fact that causes me to finally conclude that we should forget the labels and just be thankful we have a God who promises to lead us through every experience to the Ultimate Good of Life.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship