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How Not To Waste A Bad Thing

I hear their voices still ringing in my ears: “Don’t waste it.” That it can represent anything good; like, food, money, health . . . time.

I’m sure you’ve heard it, too.

But what about “bad” things? Such as trials or difficulties. Is it possible to waste them?

I would venture a “Yes,” with a qualifier: If a lesson is not learned from a bad experience, and the good that can come out of it is not realized, then it might be considered wasted.

Because every bad experience has opportunity for good to come out of it.

An understandable question might follow this train of thought: “What good can possibly come from a global pandemic?” In light of all the severe problems it has created, the posit may even seem rather ludicrous. But I believe it is fertile soil—ripe with potential for God, the Master Gardener, to bring forth a harvest of good . . . with our cooperation, of course.

However, good won’t come unaided. It will require determined effort.

So, I set out to identify where to focus my determination. Because this is a rare moment and I don’t want to get to the other side of whenever and feel that all the anguish was wasted. It can serve a purpose: God’s good.

After much meditation, I have concluded that at least these four aspects of faith can result in good through this whole experience.

  • As we realize our utter dependence upon God and lean into Him for daily grace, we are growing closer to Him. A definite good that can come out of this trying season is a closer relationship with God.

  • As we continually seek the peace, mercy, and wisdom of God through prayer, we are forming a holy habit. And as we find ourselves continually and deeply concerned for others, our nation, and the world, we are becoming more prayerful. This is undoubtedly good.

  • As we look to God to meet our needs, believing His goodness, acknowledging His sovereignty, and resting in His faithfulness to covenant, we are learning to trust Him more and more. Regularly exercising this sort of active faith, makes our lives more full of faith. Faith-fullness is indisputably good.

  • As we realize the affect this crisis has on ourselves personally, it helps us to better recognize how it is affecting others around us. An oft repeated phrase since the beginning of this has been, “We’re all in this together.” There is truth in that. We are all under a great deal of stress—suffering from many of the same issues. That knowledge breeds understanding. And has the power to grow in us the good graces of patience and empathy. Prolonged and persistent stress has certainly made me react in given situations unusually. So, when I see someone else react, I can empathize with them—knowing they are experiencing those same stressors—and then express compassion.

This season can be growing a bumper crop of good. We can become closer to God . . . more prayerful . . . faith-full . . . and empathetic.

Determine to not waste this bad thing . . . by preventing good from coming out of it. It’s packed with potential for us to become better . . . instead of bitter.

Like any harvest, what we sow we will reap. Let’s determine for good.



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