So, maybe the day isn’t shaping up like you’d hoped. Maybe you started with car trouble, bad health news about you or a loved one, or just waking up late and rushing through at a ridiculous pace trying to catch up. We call these “bad days” and assume they are just to be survived.
What if God was calling you to a deeper revelation, though, about these hard days? What if in our assumptions about the good and the bad, we miss our Father’s voice to look from a different perspective? I know—you’re going to get mad at me about some of it. And I get it. It’s hard to see Him in a lot of things. But part of that, I would venture to suggest, is that we refuse to see things in a way other than we’ve already determined them.
For instance, when I moved to Denver 14 years ago, everything I had carefully planned for months fell apart in about 24 hours. I went from being in a “good” place with all of my details figured out in my plan to being in a “bad” place with nothing working out in the way I had hoped at all. I was definitely frustrated and lost, and I didn’t see God in it. Looking back now, though, I see how God used that situation with my lack of everything to push me to reestablish my relationship with Mike and Betty Wells who immediately gave me an administrative job working in the ministry with them. And Jesus knew I needed to get to know Him through Mike, and to learn counseling from him while doing my grad degree. I can’t imagine where I would be without that relationship. So, in the end, it wasn’t bad that my world fell apart for a while, but it sure looked bad for a while!
Usually we try to blame someone (or ourselves), look for a way out of the “bad” and try to get it all changed back to “good” so we can be happy again. But this eliminates trusting our Heavenly Father for what He knows is for our good—something that He can see with an eternal perspective rather than our earthly, limited one. We often live according to what we see in the natural and assume there is nothing more instead of trusting our loving Father who sees the natural, the supernatural and the eternal.
With our relationship with God, though, we are able to choose to trust Him even when things look “bad” and when we are tempted to get hopeless and frustrated. I’m not saying it’s fun to be caught in these situations. I am saying we can choose to see God in it, though, and change our perspective radically.
Whatever the “bad” is that you are staring at today, God is bigger. Whatever the frustration is, whatever tries to force you into hopelessness, you have another choice. You may not be able to explain how He’s going to make this good, but you know He has a habit of creating good out of what seems meant to harm us.
I think we read Romans 8:28 a lot and it’s become trite. Everyone quotes it to those suffering, saying it’s all going to be all right and they should get over whatever is hurting right now. Emotion often takes a while to catch up, though, and that’s ok. If you aren’t feeling great about the good God is going to bring out of the situation, it’s all right to admit that to yourself and to your Heavenly Father. I love how in the Psalms, the authors are allowed to struggle, complain, lament and get frustrated with what God is allowing in that moment. But they always move through that to the hope. This is a choice. It’s a choice of faith, even if your faith is pretty small.
Mike used to say that faith is a receiving organ for God’s work. It’s not a matter of how big your faith is, but how it receives. If you can look at a “bad” situation and choose to look through your emotion to your Father who brings good out of all things for those who love Him, your perspective completely changes. You don’t bemoan and blame someone for the trouble—you look to Jesus and Him alone. And you wait with expectation for the good He always has for us, even when you can’t see it yet.
So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose. Romans 8:28 (The Passion Translation)