I’ve been bothered by how some praise the LORD. “My husband got a promotion–isn’t God so good to us?” “We have a new baby and she’s healthy! God is so good!”
On the surface, this seems reasonable. Good things happen. God is good to us.
But it makes me wonder about when the opposite happens. What if my husband loses his job? What if the baby died during birth or was born with disabilities? Is He no longer good when bad things happen? Perish the thought! But it is terribly hard to say “God is good” when we go through trials in life.
Shortly after I miscarried I read a blog post by another woman who had miscarried. In that post she quoted from that song, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” I was taken aback and wondered how she could say that. It was a sharp contrast to what I’ve heard for years, that God’s goodness is demonstrated through blessings. It made me wonder about how God truly shows His goodness to us. Does it not say, over and over and over, that we will have trouble and trials and temptations? persecutions? Doesn’t it say that He will take these things and use them for our benefit, for out training and perseverance and character development?
No wonder we feel as if God does not love us when the bad things happen.
I have thought that it’s more reasonable to say that when the good things happen, God is gracious to us. He has blessed us. He has been gracious. But then again, when the hard times hit, is He no longer gracious?
When I started reading Ann’s blog (again, after miscarrying) I wondered about why she wrote “All’s grace.” What did that mean anyway?
Reading this chapter I understand this better. God gives us blessings and he gives us trials and pain.
I had a better understanding of pain this week. On Sunday the mooselets and I found ourselves home instead of at church and I turned on the TV, having been told that a great evangelist would be speaking. The sermon was interesting, true; but in the middle of it was a seemingly unrelated bit of info about a girl with an interesting disease.
It’s called CIPA: Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis. The evangelist said that the girl’s mother prays every night for her daughter to feel pain.
I, on the other hand, have begun to dread the typical life pains that my children may go through. It seems kind of backwards to think that, perhaps, pain is a good thing.
But this disease proves that pain can be beneficial. If you set your hand on something hot, it is the pain that tells you to move it. If you are running and twist your ankle, the pain lets you know to sit down and rest. Pain is what would keep you from chewing on your own tongue or damaging your eyes while scratching.
Pain also provides us with a contrast. I’ve heard it suggested that we would not understand, appreciate the blessings of life without the contrast of painful, difficult times. I appreciate sleeping in much more after days (weeks, months) of being up early. (Indeed, the sleep deprivation this time, while definitely being difficult, is much easier to deal with for me.)
Likewise, it is the dark times in life which give us appreciation for the brightness. The LORD can create wonders in our dark times. I need to remember to see the pain and dark times through His Word.
I’m not sure that the words would come quickly off my tongue. . . .but I am a little closer to understanding how to see Him in the hard times. “All’s grace.” It’s just that some grace moments are more difficult than others, accompanied by more tears and sorrow.