Seeing the Good in the Bad by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

I was in my home office doing an interview for our POP Talk radio show when I heard water gushing outside the study window. At first I thought it was a sprinkler head that been severed off by a lawn mower, but after Dr. Lynnette Simm and I completed the taping of the show, I ran outside to look. A stream of water was flowing rapidly down the street from the side of our house. I shouted to my husband, working upstairs. “We’ve got a problem!” He was busy preparing for an important meeting. The timing was not good, but he checked it out and also found water seeping through the ceiling of one of the rooms upstairs. After more investigation, he realized our hot water heater had gone out and that was causing the problem. We needed a plumber—and fast.

As I thought about this scenario, I became thankful. Thankful that I was in my office so I could hear the water flooding out of the relief valve on the side of our house. Otherwise, we might have been oblivious for a while and there would have been damage upstairs. Thankful this happened while we were home. We had just come back from a trip to Galveston and could have easily been away when it occurred. I asked my husband, “What would have happened if we had been out of town?” He responded, “I think part of the ceiling upstairs would have collapsed.” I was also grateful a plumber was able to respond day of.

Sometimes, when we go through the difficult things in life, we can press into the bad, but I believe God will always provide something to be thankful for in the midst of the worst of scenarios.

This week, my brother-in-law of thirty years, Jim, passed away after a long battle with something called “Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.” It’s called “idiopathic” because doctors don’t know what causes it.

I have fond memories of going up to Jim and my sister-in-law Sue’s lake house near Coldwater, Michigan where we boated, had “Corn Hole” competitions, and late night conversations by the fire pit. Jim was in great shape. He cycled, worked out and was an outdoorsman. He did not smoke. But then the progressive disease struck his body, and it took him down.

This past week when Jim was in hospice, I was receiving regular text updates from my sister-in-law about how he was doing. Before they gave him his first dose of Morphine to ease the pain, he said, “Let’s get the party started.” He was a believer and ready to see Jesus. He saw his transition out of this world to Heaven as a celebration. That scene, and all the memories from our time at the lake, is the good that I want to remember and hold onto.

When we are in the thick of the bad scenarios of life, do we try to find the good in them? The next time you endure a trial, it’s important to see the scenario from above. Ask God to show you the positive.

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