Over the past two lessons from our Cape Breton trip, we've seen that good always comes out of bad situations, for: "...God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Rom. 8:28 NLT). I firmly believe this, and sometimes I'm known as the "eternal optimist" because I am always looking for the "silver lining" that God has placed in the "black cloud". Sometimes, however, that optimistic attitude does run out...
It was my birthday, and we were officially on our way home from Cape
Breton. We were camped outside of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and I was
told it would be a "short" drive to Edmonston, New Brunswick, where we
would spend the next two days. That meant there would be plenty of time
before breaking camp to visit the many things in Antigonish that we had
missed the previous day, and we would be in Edmonston early enough to be
able to go out to dinner to celebrate my birthday...
say the day didn't go quite as planned. The road to Edmonston turned out
to be 150 kilometers farther than we had originally anticipated, but we
wouldn't learn this until AFTER we had spent the morning in Antigonish.
As a result, we didn't get to our campsite, which was still a 30 minute
drive from Edmonston, until well after 7. As it was nearly dark, I knew
that by the time we got our trailer set up, it would be far too late to
drive to Edmonston and go out to dinner...
I had anticipated
this the moment I learned that Edmonston was farther away than we had
thought, and this realization soured the entire afternoon. The kicker,
however, came as we were trying to set up camp in the last of the
natural light. The lock on the outside storage bin door, the one where
we stored the tools required to set up the trailer, was jammed. We
couldn't even unhitch without that tool box, and the only way to get to
it was to set up the trailer, completely tear out the bed--quite a feat
in a 12 foot trailer!--rescue the box, fold the trailer down again,
unhitch, level the trailer, and then set it back up properly. Oh, and
then of course I would have to completely reassemble the bed...
It all seems pretty trite now, but at the time it was the last straw.
There was no silver-lining that day, and I was certain this was the
worst birthday ever. Why did all the bad stuff have to happen on my
special day? Why couldn't it have happened the day before or the day
after? Hey! Why did it have to happen at all?
Isn't that how it
seems to go in life? One bad thing piles upon another, and although
sometimes we can see the good that is brought out of the bad situations
Parts 1 and
other times we are left to wonder "why"!
But wait. Perhaps this
is part of God's ultimate plan after all. When we don't see the answers
to our "why" question, we have but two choices: We can convince
ourselves that God doesn't care, or we can choose to believe in God's
promises, even when we can't "see" any reason or solution.
first option, unfortunately, leaves us void of hope, cut off from any
potential comfort. It leaves us feeling as if we have no choice but to
fend for ourselves, producing even more stress at every corner.
The second option, albeit the harder one to grasp, leads to the building
of patience, strength, character, faith: "We can rejoice, too, when
we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for
us--they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of
character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until
finally our hope and faith are strong and steady." (Rom. 5:3-4
It actually doesn't take much faith to believe God will
come through when we see all the answers; but it takes an enormous
amount when no reason or solution can be seen. Remember that: "Faith
shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we
cannot see." (Heb. 11:1 NLT). It is through this belief in what we
cannot see that we are rewarded: "Through their faith, the people in
days of old earned a good reputation." (Heb. 11:2 NLT).
believe that though we may not always see the "why", our faith in God's
promise that He, "...causes everything to work together for the good
of those who love God..." (Rom. 8:28 NLT), will ensure that one day
we will see the same trials and circumstances from God's perspective,
and we will see how that particular hard time actually works itself into
the beautiful fabric of God's plan.
Troubles upon you and no
"why" in sight? No matter how hard you search you can't find the "silver
lining"? Choose to believe in God's goodness and mercy, and especially
in His promise that all things work together for good.
don't worry if birthday plans don't go the way you anticipate them to
go...There's always tomorrow!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
access the entire "Lessons From Cape Breton" mini-series, please click