-Written by Stan-
Many times in my life I’ve been confused about what is good and what is bad. Things that seemed to be bad turned out to be good and things that seemed to be good turned out to be bad. This struggle to discern what is best is as old as the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve ate fruit from a tree named “the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:17). They mistakenly believed that not eating the fruit would be a bad thing but that eating it would be good. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isa. 5:20). Ever since that day, we children of Adam have struggled to discern the difference between good and evil.
Most of what has happened in our lives during the past three months has seemed to be bad, very bad.
Who would dare to deny that a stroke, paralysis, pain and suffering are anything but bad? And yet, never in our lives have we been more blessed with the goodness of God and indeed the goodness of life itself! Though malevolent forces in spiritual places may have meant all this for evil, God meant it for good (see Gen. 50:20).
You would think that at 62 years of age, I would have learned by now to discern the difference between good and evil, but honestly, I still often get confused. “Lord, was that bad thing that just happened really a good thing? Was that good thing really a bad thing?” I keep praying that I will one day reach that level of spiritual maturity where my powers of discernment will be sufficiently trained so that I can “distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5:14).
Today was a good day! Yes, I realize that I’m capable of being wrong about what seemed so right about the past 24-hours. Over the past three months I’ve been wrong on numerous occasions. So, I guess I’m a bit gun shy and hesitant to categorically call today a “good” day. But regardless of how I analyze things, I can only come up with one conclusion: today was just a good, good day.
For one thing, spring is bursting out all over! Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, trees are budding, the sun is shining and the grass is turning a vibrant shade of green. Sitting with Katy on the back patio and just breathing deeply is an exhilarating experience! The darkness of Good (!) Friday is passing and the reality of Easter is dawning. Oh, that’s good.
Last night, I wheeled Katy across the street to see her dad for the first time in three months. He too has been struggling with health issues and at age 93 we thank God for each day he is alive. As they embraced from their two respective wheel chairs, it was a moment of holy pleasure and joy. Oh, that’s good.
A dear friend who pastors a vibrant church in Virginia drove to Wilmore to visit us and this morning made a pastoral call on Katy. We met Pastor Troy and his dear congregation through a camp experience in the Blue Ridge Mountains where I preached for the past two summers. Our hearts were warmed and we were blessed. Oh, that’s good.
This afternoon, Anna and I loaded Katy in the car and drove to Lexington to visit the neurosurgeon who had performed her craniotomy. Looking at the incision he said, “Let’s take out those 40 staples. Things look great.” Yippee! This means Katy can wash her beautiful red hair and begin to feel like a woman again. Oh, that’s good.
Driving home Katy was specific: “I want fried chicken for dinner!” As we sat at the table tonight eating chicken, we told silly stories that made Katy laugh so hard she almost slid out of her wheel chair. Oh, that’s good.
Yes, it’s been a good day! We know that many challenges remain and there are still battles to fight, but when a day like today comes along, you just want to lean back in your chair and take a deep breath and smile. Thank you, Lord, for a very good day. And Lord, regardless of what tomorrow holds, we know that for those who love you, “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to (your) purpose” (Rom. 8:28).