Working Bad to Good

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— The car died in the middle of an intersection. The driver behind us? Got out, helped FishPapa push the car to a parking lot, and drove him to an auto parts store down the street. I imagined that he was 50 kinds of axe murderers and that I’d be widowed and stranded on a Friday night. Turns out he was a police man from a neighboring town and had worked as a Toyota mechanic years before.

— A deer broadsided hubs’ truck on his way to work. He thought we only had liability insurance. Turns out we had comprehensive and collision. The insurance company more than paid for the necessary repairs.

— I scrimped and saved my tutoring money for six months so that I could buy a large freezer. Then, a client reneged on a contract and refused to pay my husband for work completed. Good bye, freezer; that tutoring money went towards paying the mortgage that month. A year later friends relocated to a smaller home and sold me their almost new freezer for a third of what I would have paid prior.

Coincidences? I think not. Rather, they are evidences of God providing for us in unexpected ways. They are also great reminders to me of His Ultimate Goodness, especially when things don’t go according to my plan.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Matthew 6:27-29 (New International Version)

We’ve been talking about bummers in the summer and several things came to mind.

  • I’m not the only one with challenges. It’s not that I’m “in misery, loving company.” But, I todunno, it’s nice to know you’re not alone.
  • We can’t see all that there is to see. As Lea’s example in the comments section proved, God knows what we don’t and He operates accordingly. He works our apparent bad to good because He loves us.
  • Chances are, it’s not as bad as we think it is. It’s true that sometimes tragedies occur and the good amidst the bad is almost impossible to see. I don’t think lightly of those situations. But, I think it’s safe to say that most of the “bad” we deal with really isn’t all that bad.
  • This, too, shall pass. Again, I don’t want to minimize long-term issues, but most things do pass away, and we forget that it was even a struggle.

Unless, we go through the exercise of walking back through the past and seeing evidence of how God worked our bad to good. Those are beautiful memories. They serve as hope and encouragement for the struggles of tomorrow — and today.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er,
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more.
Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

Where have YOU seen God work your bad to good?

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  1. A few months ago, we learned that our oldest child has some moderate dental issues. We have no dental insurance and were also having a tough time deciding how to approach his treatment.

    God provided a wonderful pediatric dentist to walk us through our options patiently. About the same time we decided on a treatment plan, we were blessed with more than enough money to cover it. After overhearing the amount a visit cost one day, our son said "Mommy, that was a lot of money. How did you pay for that?". It was a pleasure to explain to him that God had already provided all that we needed. Actually, He had provided for my son and that meant even more to me.

  2. What a timely reminder. We've found lately that things keep happening and causing us to spend the money that we've been saving for a newer vehicle. But then I'm reminded that God had already provided the money. It wasn't used the way that we had intended, but I know the He knows what's best.

  3. One of my favorite sayings is "If you want to hear the sound of God's laughter tell him your plans." My hubby reminds me of this all the time. Things happen for a reason, we're just along for the ride!

  4. When i was pregnant with my daughter things kept going from bad to worse . First it was problems with me , short cervix ( premature delivery) bed rest , boarderline diabetes …and then her kidney's began to fail in utero. First it was just one kidney ( you can live a perfectly normal life with just one kidney) , then the other kidney began failing . The specialist started talking about dialysis, transplant ..very scary . I was also PETRIFIED the entire pregnancy because with my first child I got a very bad infection and could have died after I gave birth …so then I started having panic atacks .
    After days of not sleeping , having panic attacks and another worse news DR's visit I got an email out of the blue about Saint Margaret , patron saint of kidneys and mothers in labor.

    I broke down crying hysterically and prayed (begged her to intercede for the baby and I ) . 3 days later I had to go back to the Doc, which I wasn't looking forward too. They were going to determine if they needed to take her early for the kidney problem.

    He scanned my belly and her kidneys for a good half an hour , not saying a word , after the tech had already scanned my belly for a half an hour before him and asked me "what are you here for ?" I kept telling her and she kept scanning shaking her head.

    Well long story short the baby's kidney were 100% normal , I had the best uterine condition the doctor had ever seen ( his exact words) , and there was no reason to take her early . After the next visit 3 days later when everything was still perfect he said " i don't understand it, I've never seen it happen but you and she are fine now so go home and relax until you deliver .

    Long story short everything went perfectly from there and i am 100% sure that it was a sign someone else may have ignored . If nothing else it gave me great peace , feeling that someone up there was watching over us .

    When my daughter got sick 2 weeks ago ( she is a newborn so fevers as you moms know are serious in a newborn) . On the way to the ER I was of course panicing AGAIN . As we were getting of the highway there was one of those sign clusters with the names of all the businesses in the plaza . Well all the business signs were very dimly lit except for one GABRIEL ( my daughter is named Gabriela Margaret , on purpose:) I just took a deep breath and smiled because I saw MY little sign saying everything was going to be fine ..and it , thank GOD , was.

  5. What a wonderful post!

    A month or so ago, The Man Beast hurt his back. He was a delivery driver for a national delivery company. After hurting his back, however, he was unable to do the job any longer. He was let go.

    We have one car and TMB found it difficult to find a job that would pay as good as his previous one around the hours that we could share the vehicle.

    Finally, he was able to get on at his old job, this time as an assitant manager of a furniture company. Only problem – he would be taking a $400/mo paycut. Still, he took it because he figured in this economy, something was better than nothing.

    Now, two weeks later, he has been given the store to manage, more than making up the $400/mo deficit.

  6. The last 2 1/2 years have been a real struggle for us to make ends meet (my husband works in Real Estate). We have lived primarily on our food storage and our garden.

    During this time, the Lord has blessed us in many ways. Four twin beds were given to us (three were brand-new from people who had moved into model homes and didn't need them). My midwife took me as a client for free for the birth of my 5th child. People allowed us to come glean fruit from their trees. (Monday I am going to pick apples from a woman in town, and there may be enough to make applesauce!)

    We have been able to teach our children how the Lord truly provides for our needs. They have seen the blessings, and helped us, through their prayers, learn to be more grateful for all that we do have (my 3yo taught me to be thankful that I have plates to eat off of, a counter to prepare food, carpet on the floor and couches in my living room, and chairs to sit on. His prayers reminded me that not all people in the world have these blessings, and that I should remember them as such).

    Because of our need to be even more frugal than we already were, I have learned to become a better baker, a better gardener, and a better seamstress.

    God has blessed our garden as well. Last night we had dinner mostly from the garden, and it cost less than $1 to feed all 7 of us!

  7. I always look forward to seeing life as mom in my emails. When I read poormoms message I got goosebumps. This is just another time god has been there when he's needed. Another good saying is take it one day at a time. Mary1day at yahoo dot com

  8. I'm impressed with your pluck! Thank you for the reminders that we shouldn't always dwell on the negatives. Very striking post…