Greetings and happy winter to everyone! It was strange to see snow on Oct. 10, and the cold weather is continuing. I and I'm sure many others aren't prepared for winter, considering all the normal outside getting-ready-for-winter chores we usually do. This year those chores may go undone.
Although I'm not on an actual "book tour," I have been making frequent book signing appearances. Especially fun was time spent in Frederic at a signing, when I had a chance to visit with lots of friends from my former days, including the Northwest Regional Writers group which I belonged to for years.
This week I will be giving two talks/book readings & signings at area libraries, so today I'm going to do a practice run with my niece. Hmmm--it's always a challenge to speak aloud to someone you know well who isn't hesitant to give honest critique!
As usual, I include my latest column for your encouragement and inspiration. God's richest blessings on you.
by Sally Bair
When Good Comes From Bad
In some respects, the animal world isn’t much different from the world of humans. Regarding death or rejection, for instance, some species grieve over loss of their family members. Such as elephants that spend days at the side of a dead or dying relative. The subject of death is not always pleasant. But although we humans grieve with varying intensity and length, we know that sometimes good comes from it.
A woman who lost a child to a drunk driver took on the challenge to bring more stringent laws against drunk driving, and others were invited to join her in a massive campaign called Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. A widow might find healing and fulfillment in volunteering which could result in help for many others. A man who loses his job might go back to school and consequently find a better-suited occupation.
Epidemics bring new cures. Catastrophes bring better warning systems. Inhumane treatment of people or animals brings compassionate help and better laws.
There are countless examples of good coming from bad. The Old Testament tells of Joseph, abused and sold by his brothers and then perjured by a vengeful woman which led to his imprisonment. Because Joseph remained faithful, God eventually brought much favor and riches to him. Another example is of King David, maligned by his enemy, Shimei, who cursed him and threw stones at him. David’s servant insisted the man be killed. But David had another idea.
“It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for (Shimei’s) cursing this day,” David said. (2 Samuel 16:12)
If only we all held the same attitude. Such an attitude is filled with hope rather than despair, with love for God rather than “why me?” thinking, and with patience and perseverance rather than futile ideas of revenge or blame.
Death cannot be avoided. Rejection can’t either, in many cases. In fact, death is a type of rejection. But our attitudes can bring good from them. It’s up to us. Rather than wallow in grief forever, like a woman I knew who mourned her husband’s abandonment year after year, we can choose, rather, to love and serve God with willing, joyful, patient hearts.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Lord, give us the strength and wisdom to look at our problems and “evils” with the hope and assurance that You will bring good from them. In Jesus’ name, amen.