Oct 29, 2007

How is this good?

I don't know. I may never know in this life how our very difficult experiences with Ian are good when I think about the way that we typically define "good". I realized recently how much we define how "good" an experience is by how pleasurable it is for us. Or, we define good by the benefit it provides us like a nasty tasting cough medicine that, despite its taste, quiets the cough almost instantly. We sometimes even define it more altruistically and say to ourselves, "well, if what we're going through is good for others...I guess I can endure and be the heroic sacrificial lamb." We just can't help defining that word without ourselves as the central focus, but "good" is shallow defined that way. These trials aren't good in those ways. They're not pleasurable, and I really don't see clearly how they're good for us (though I'm sure ultimately eternity's light will help me see them that way).

But, again, I'm reminded that these trials are not about us.

Scripture says, "You are good and do good" (Ps 119:68). I have to stare at this verse and in faith acknowledge that not only is God good, but he DOES good. Somehow, some way, therefore, these trials are good. But not in the way we typically define the word. Peter's words in 1 Peter 1:6-7 are like guard rails on a dark path guiding me through dark trials: "you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." I'm grieved by these trials. They're certainly testing my faith in God which I know is genuine. The revealing of the genuineness of my faith results in praise and glory and honor to God. That's good. That's very, very good.

Pray for Ian.

(with some of Larissa's edits too:)

p.s. from larissa- Ian clearly indicated to me tonight that he is sad. He also responded when I asked him if he wanted life to be normal again. Please pray that God would encourage him......


Roberto said...

I'm at a loss for words — which we all know is unusual. What a powerful post! Thank you all for putting it all out there, every day, in this blog. And the simple reminder: pray for Ian.

beth said...

praying everyday.
love you all.

sheep wanderer said...

You all continue to encourage me, by your humble perseverance. I ask such questions as you ask and praise God we have that liberty to ask questions as paved for us in the Psalms.

We know that God's thoughts are not ours, and that His ways are not ours. We know God is love and we know He knows the plans that He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us. On these truths we carry on to live by in faith-not just us but countless Christians worldwide.

I continue to pray for you. Your perseverance encourages me so much.

God continue to bless and do you good.

Liz, UK

Anonymous said...

thanks steve and larissa. i groaned aloud when i read your comment, laris, it pierced my heart. i can pray for that.

Anonymous said...

Again Steve...such godly insights flow from your heart--rich with the aroma of God's grace that is obviously being extended to you and your family! Yours is the prose of the psalmist that is used by God for all that navigate trials in this life. Thank you brother. I will continue to pray for your family...Tony

Anonymous said...

Steve I know what you are saying here, and yes what happened to Ian and others in similar situations are very difficult and downright impossible to say in human terms being good, it is a tragedy no doubt. Yet I have wondered if in God's mind there are no tragedies, nothing good or bad in our human terms, only to follow His will or not, to believe, to trust in Him or not.

My personal obstacle was God's justice...how can this be just? Then I have seen what WE term tragedies caused by the natural world affect other people. The saints as well as the sinners, the rich as well as the poor, the famous as well as the unknown and realized in its purest form (not in human terms) these situations happen to everyone equally. This is justice in its purest form. The goodness of God is in the ability to endure, which you all have and are continuing to show us in this forum, in a most glorious way.

I pray Ian finds his way through this tragedy with the goodness of God and may know he is not alone.

Thank you and God will bless.

Minori Family

Marshall Reel said...

I suspect that there are non-believers who see your sacrificial love for Ian and as a result know that there has to be a God in heaven who has given you a heart like that! I pray they will see His love in you and believe the message of God's sacrificial love for us.

I am praying for Ian's recovery, but also encouragement for him on a heart level so that it is visible to you.

Tim said...

I am praying that Ian and you all will know God's encouragement today. Steve, you continue to bless me. -tim, Wellspring Church, CA