What good can there be in bad circumstances? It’s a question that you might ask when you’ve been hurt, or gone through a painful situation.

It’s a question I asked myself this weekend, and I was surprised by the answers. It honestly opened the door to see some sweet memories previously obscured by the bad.

James 1:17 says (NLT), “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.  He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

But how do we define the perfect and good? Is it only when life is easy? Is it when things are going well or we are happy?

According to scripture, we see Jesus clearest in the fire. In the trial. Even in the midst of the bad, we find that good and perfect gifts God has promised. 

Will you do something with me today? It’s a simple exercise. One that helps us to fill out the entire picture. Like a dot-to-dot puzzle, we start to see the things that we might have missed because of the pain.

Divide your life into four stages.

Birth to ____    *       Age _____ to _______   *      Age _____ to _____  *       Age _____ to _____

What trials do you find there? What messes?

Reflect on each time period. What good and perfect gifts were in the midst?

May I share one of mine?

Birth to 12: Survival. I wasn’t sure day to day who I was or what I would go through. I was a lost little girl who had no idea of her value to God, or to others. But the gift that I see there is many fold. I see siblings drawing together. I see my baby brothers nestled beside me as I made up stories to ease their hearts. I see my younger sister and I giggling at night as we made up silly games. It’s a bond that remains to this day. It was a bond conceived and strengthened in the fire.

I also see God reaching the entire time, grieved over the brokenness of our home. Later almost all of us found Him. Some of us shattered. Some of us angry. Some of us uncertain if He was real. But totally aware of the great healing power of God, because when you’ve lived in the dark, you can’t help but love the Light. It’s why I do what I do now. I couldn’t see any of that then, but I see it now.

What do you see in each of these stages of life?

What good and perfect gifts do you find?