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The Burning Bush Devotional

(Over 13,000 subscribers in 75 countries)

05.11.04

Is it Bad or Good?

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.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Looking back at my life, I can see some bad things that have happened to me. Although they were bad, I am aware that many have experienced much worse.

Early in our marriage of 34 years, Jeanie left me for a week. It was my fault that this occurred and it drove me to my knees in prayer. It made me realize that I cannot live life by myself in my own power and that I must have God’s help to survive.

Twenty-five years ago, our second son, Nick, was born with Downs Syndrome. I spent his first week of life with him at the Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City. Again, this drove me to my knees and to a deeper relationship with God. Nick opened my eyes to all those people who may be physically or mentally imperfect that I had blinded myself to before. He has made me and continually makes me more sensitive to God’s Voice. Nick has taught me about love and serving and continues to do so.

When I entered the ministry 14 years ago it was at a time when our finances where not the best but we trusted that God would provide. Actually, our financial situation grew worse and our debt grew until it was in our eyes enormous. It looked impossible to ever be free of that debt. Again, our financial situation drove me to my knees on a continual basis. God taught me about His provision as He carried us through that time and freed us of our debt. He has demonstrated that He is faithful and that He can provide whatever is needed whether money or strength.

This last year Jeanie and I both experienced physical problems and I was hospitalized for nine days. God has sustained us during this time and given me a renewed compassion for all those who suffer physically.

I could tell you of other things that were difficult for us; however, I think that this is enough. God has allowed us to go through some difficult things. What we have experienced is not as difficult, certainly not as tragic as some have experienced. Out of those bad, difficult things, God has brought good. Is it easy during the bad times to rejoice as Paul says we should knowing God will bring good? No, but God gives us the hope and the strength which sustains us allowing God to mold us more closely into our Lord’s image.

Are you going through a difficult time in your life now? You have a choice. You can rebel, and blame God for the situation, or you can draw more closely to Him trusting Him to bring good from the bad. What choice will you make?

Copyright © 2004. Ed Wrather. Permission is given for use of the devotionals on a non-profit basis with source credited. On June 8, 1998 the email version of the Burning Bush Devotional was first sent.

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