Bad Times Are MUCH Better For Our Souls Than Good Times
When I was about 20 years old, a young man gave me a version of the King James bible. I ignored it for many months and it just sat on my bureau. The young man had told me that when I was down and out, to read it.
Well, the time came and I was ‘down and out’. So, I picked up the bible and read a scripture: ‘Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.’ James 4:9
WHAT! Come onnnnnnn…of all things to open up to, this is what the bible offered me for my depressed, 20 yr old soul? You’ve GOT to be kidding, GOD! I picked that bible up and threw it across the room. I was in shock and disbelief. I wanted something PRETTY! Something ‘positive’, something HAPPY!! And, this is what you give me, Lord? Fuggedaboudit. Just forget it. NO way would I read that bible again.
A couple of years later, A Pastors assistant gave me a bible. This time I was a little more open–not entirely … but a little.
By the time I was 25 years old…things were going well for me. I had gotten involved in a church, I was a ‘big fish in a small pond‘ in Musical Theater. I was also (sometimes) semi-involved in Hadassah, ( a woman’s Jewish org.) But, church was more comfortable so I grew psychologically and spiritually in a small church. Then, I got sick. I was in the hospital for 30 days. I asked my friends from church to visit me there. NOPE. “GOD” had told them ‘not to visit me‘. Thus, I was on the ‘short end of the stick’ so to speak and life was teaching me a hard lesson about people. I learned a LOT. I learned I had to forgive these wrong-doers.
Eventually, I ended up going back to the small church for about 9 months. In those 9 months, it was comprised of harsh lessons about life and people. I was still ill, medicated and felt like a zombie. People didnt want anything to do with me. Still, I stayed and took their mockery and scoffing.. God had not healed me as the other church members said and I was content with that. I was content to get through this illness WITH God. I didnt need God to heal me completely to get thru this sickness…On the 9th month, I left the church. I had forgiven, I had grown and it was time to move on.
I started going to a very small bible study and I was content. Even though I was content, I had to help an aging Grandmother. This was hard and vexing to my soul. My youth being spent taking care of Nana. Nana was a tough woman…so…lets just say, it was tough taking care of her. Family was hardly ever there with me and I grew bitter and tired. I had to learn to give these unhealthy feelings and reactions to God.
To make this shorter.. I will just say that I never learned that much in life when things were well. I thank God he allowed bad times: illnesses, surgeries, one time, homeless, friends who ghosted me, etc..
We are always looking for the positive. Thats what we do in this country. What if I told you that extreme negative conditions ARE the ‘positive’ in this life? Well, they are. We grow into mature adults. We learn wisdom thru sorrow. We learn NONE of these things during happy times. NONE.
God teaches us so much thru the negative. If we end up poor, we learn to ration, we learn to survive, we learn to be thankful for each morsel of food. If we are sick, we learn how to heal, how to take care of our bodies better. If we lose a spouse, we learn to lean on God: We learn who we can trust, we learn who is really there for us.
If you are experiencing the ‘negative’.. Be of good cheer! God is IN it and you are safe. You really are in the ‘best’. Because….on this particular road, your soul and spirit are becoming filled with wisdom which you can use for the duration of your life. Bad times…are much better than ‘good’ times.