For today’s entry, I wanted us to examine for a moment the things that happen to us in our life – and the way that even a negative experience can be used to benefit us . . .
I received this story in my inbox last week, and I thought that it was very applicable to what our theme was going to be for this week:
This is Good...
The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!"
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.
Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!"
To which the king replied, "No, this is NOT good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took them to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.
As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. "You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off. And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. "And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad of me to do this."
"No" his friend replied, "This is good!"
"What do you mean, "This is good?" How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?"
"If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you when you were captured."
*** Situations may not always seem pleasant while we are in them, but the promise of God is clear. If we love Him and live our lives according to His precepts, even that which seems to be bleak and hopeless will be turned by God for His glory and our benefit.
After reading that story, I felt particularly impressed to examine the last 14 months of Al being gone and the “GOOD” things that have come out of it:
- We were close before, but with him being gone – and us having to communicate so much by phone, email, letters, packages, etc. – it has really added a new dimension to our relationship. Our communication skills have really been put to the test – and I know that we will benefit in the long run from that.
- I have personally become a much stronger person. I only ‘thought’ I was strong before Al got deployed, but this situation has forced me to dig down deep inside of myself and find an inner resolve that I didn’t even know existed.
- I have really learned fully what love is about. When you can love someone across thousands of miles and without seeing them ‘in person’ for months and months at a time – and that love doesn’t diminish – but only gets deeper and deeper, you know that you have found the ‘real thing’.
- I have shipped enough packages and done enough overseas mailing, that if I ever find myself out of work, I could immediately obtain employment at the nearest post office or shipping supplier. LOL.
- I have been able to learn so many things about Al that I might not have been able to discover in ‘normal’ life --- even though he hasn’t been on the front lines, kicking down doors in Iraq – his sacrifice for his country and the citizens of Iraq has been pretty amazing to me. It’s pretty awesome to be able to think of your husband and use the words honor, sacrifice and hero when you do.
- No matter how much this deployment has sucked – we will always be able to look back on it and say ‘Oh, that was our first deployment’ – and ‘That was the deployment that we got married on’. The two weeks that he got to come home in August were so wonderful, and getting to become “Mrs. Big Al” will always be a special memory that I will treasure.
- I know that this situation has brought me closer to God. God and I got along pretty well before this, but I have really come to understand what trust and faith is all about because of this situation. I have no choice but to trust God during this time – and have faith that He is holding Al in the palm of His hand. That has been an amazing lesson!
- Finally, no matter how hard deployment is – I have one word for you . . . HOMECOMING!! I can’t explain the anticipation and excitement I had when I went to pick Al up at the airport when he came home on R&R. Regular people don’t get to feel those emotions, the heart pounding, and the nervousness – all just to see the person that you love most in the world. If you get to see your loved one every night – day in, day out – you don’t get the roller coaster thrill of seeing them for the first time in six months. I look forward so much to Al’s final homecoming too.
So, I just encourage you that, as you go throughout this next week that you would try to find the ‘good things’ that have happened as a result of the ‘bad things’ in your life. Everything happens for a reason, and there is a plan and a purpose to EVERYTHING under Heaven!!
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28