Is It Good Or Is It Bad?

Monday, October 17, 2022
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Psalm 73:28 – But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works. (NJKV)

This summer, we bought new garden furniture for our backyard. We unpacked it from the boxes, removed all the plastic, and set in groups all the pieces to be put together. Then, as it was a very hot day, we went inside for a break before putting it together. When we came back outside a short time later, one of the plastic bags had blown onto the lawn. When I picked it up, there was a huge yellow mark on the grass. As the day wore on, the mark changed from yellow to a dry, brown patch.

The next day, my husband got a new piece of sod and began to cut out the now dead piece of lawn. As he pulled it up, he called to me and said, "I think we have grubs." I came and confirmed his suspicions.

Years ago, we had heard a parable of the Chinese farmer who, when a number of events happened in his life, answered, "Good, bad, who's to say?"

We looked at this as a could-be-bad, could-be-good event in our life. Had it not been for the plastic bag appearing to kill a portion of our lawn and our having to replace it, we would have been dealing with a bigger problem down the road with the grubs. What we thought was bad actually had a good result.

This got me thinking that at times in my life, I may neglect to see the good when I focus on the bad. This is pointed out in the parable with the words that he spoke: "Good, bad, who's to say?" He put the good first in his thinking. If we do the same, then maybe, we will either see the good immediately, or else sooner get to a place of seeing the good in our lives.

Yes, I was looking down and saw the damage, but I also needed to look up to see the good. If my focus had remained looking down on the damage, I could have missed the good to come.

Matthew 17:8 – When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. (NKJV)

Looking at our lawn today, a few weeks later, one would never know that we had cut a piece out and replaced it. It has completely knitted itself together.

Likewise, Jesus specializes in healing, so let us bring our insults, injuries, and setbacks, our disappointments, heartaches, and griefs to Him, and let Him knit our wounds and our lives into His, when we come to the cross.

Colossians 2:2-3 – That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (NKJV)

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we are so very sorry for the times when we could see only the bad. Lord, thank You for coming and showing us a way to see the good in all things. Continue to work in our lives so that we can focus on the good sooner. In Your name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Julie Bowles <>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good one Julie!

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Julie.

    So much truth and with simplicity Julie. Blessings.

    God uses bad situations to help us make difficult decisions that are good.

    Great post and great reminder in these times, Julie. Thanks and blessings!

    Very helpful, Julie, as I go through a period of confession and seek forgiveness from persons I have unthinkingly hurt.
    Bless you for this timely meditation!

    Thank you for this. Sometimes our biggest discouragements come to us from other Christians or situations in our church. Thank you for this reminder to look for the good that can come out of negative situations in our lives, often situations over which we have no control.

    Julie, Thanks for this story. What a great way to change our view of trials in our lives. I will use this illustration in a lesson to young adults. Keep up the great work of helping us to illustrate our lessons and make them meaningful!

    Your quote of the Chinese farmer is a good one to remember when things in life look grim. There may be a positive outcome yet to come, though it doesn’t look like it at the moment. Thanks for this reminder.

    Thank you for writing. I am sending it to my five young people, so the journey continues.
    Is autumn foliage colourful in the Barrie area? I’m in north central Manitoba and this has been a spectacular fall for us- rare. Now those leaves are the mat on the garden and the blessings start again. Thanks again.

    Thanks, Julie. I especially like this paragraph:
    Jesus specializes in healing, so let us bring our insults, injuries, and setbacks, our disappointments, heartaches, and griefs to Him, and let Him knit our wounds and our lives into His, when we come to the cross.
    If we all would do that consistently, our lives would surely improve!

    Good morning, Julie,
    I agree that there is always some good with the bad when we look for it. Sometimes we don’t see it right of way and then it is made clear to us.
    Great saying “good, bad, who’s to say?” I like it like “have an attitude of gratitude” can make the world of difference in your day. Those grubs can be pesky critters, but I guess they are food for some animals.
    Thanks for sharing and a good prayer to start the day. Blessings and joy.

    God knew that your encouraging devotional was just what was needed today so it was read at just the right time! Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

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