When Bad is Good

When Bad is Good - jenniferajanes.com

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We often read Romans 8:28 and wonder how that really plays out. Sometimes we wait years to see the good God brought out of bad situations. Sometimes we never see it this side of heaven, although we know He is working behind the scenes. And sometimes, we see it sooner than we ever dreamed, and we realize just how good He is.

This is where I’m living—in the land of mysteries revealed, allowed to see the bigger picture in a small thing so I can learn to trust Him in the bigger things.

When Bad is Good

It started like this:

  • A limb from the huge oak tree in front of our house dropped a limb just before BookGirl’s 10th birthday party. It left a hole two feet by four inches in our decking. A storm was blowing in, and neighbors stepped in and helped patch it before it started raining and caused water damage in the attic and kitchen.


  • After the roof damage was repaired from the June 1 roof drama, we began noticing dead leaves, twigs, and bark falling onto the driveway, just behind the carport. It continued until we finally looked up . . . and saw a huge limb that had broken off and gotten caught by other branches. It was dying, and pieces were falling all over the driveway.

So, even though these were live limbs that were dropping, we made arrangements, and:

  • A tree service came to remove dead limbs from the oak trees in the front and back of the house. They also removed the limb that had broken off and gotten lodged in the tree.

Next, just a few hours after the tree service left:

  • Another live limb weighing about 500 pounds landed on the house, just as we were getting ready to leave for our 12th anniversary date. It caused damage on the ridge where the largest part of it landed and punched another hole through the decking. One of the smaller branches on it came all the way through the carport ceiling, knocking out some beams from the attic on the way through.

So, a week later, on my 40th birthday:

  • We had the whole, huge oak tree cut down. As it came down, we saw some dark spots in the wood here and there, along with a few hollow places. As they cut down the trunk, I noticed that from four to five feet up, all the way to the ground, it was hollow

The insurance adjuster who handled both our roof claims came by to see how the tree cutting was going. (We had told him we’d made the decision to get rid of it.) When he saw the hollow trunk, he told us that our tree would have eventually fallen over, just like two other trees in our neighborhood that had broken off near the base in strong winds just days before our tree was cut down. If that had happened, he speculated that our house would have been a total loss. I can’t even think about what might have happened if we had been home when it fell.

So those limbs that fell, those roof claims, the drama and trauma of them falling and having to make repairs . . . All that, while unpleasant and stressful, was protection. Because those limbs fell and we started questioning the health of the tree, because we finally made the decision to cut it down (after much prayer and asking for wisdom and discernment), we were protected from something that could have been far worse, something unfixable.

Yes, I’m learning to be thankful, if not for the bad things, in them. Because God is working good, even if I can’t see it yet.

If you want to know our secret, how we survived having a limb crash our anniversary date, see my post at my friend Laurie Wallin’s site: How to Live Crash-Proof Joy!

How have you seen God’s hand at work in your life recently?

For more from the Be Fully Persuaded series, click the graphic below:

Be Fully Persuaded - jenniferajanes.com

I’m going to Little Rock for the Teach Them Diligently Marketplace this weekend! Will I see you there?

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Photo credit: Jennifer A. Janes

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9 Responses to When Bad is Good

  1. Rebecca says:

    I always think of Laura Story’s song – “What if your blessings come through rain drops…” I remember sitting in the audience the very first time she ever played it just before it released. She sang it while her husband stood in the back of the room and she had to stop – and talk with him for a minute…then kept on singing. I don’t know if you know her testimony – look it up if you don’t. She, like you (and I) have found that blessings -the best blessings can be found in the places most people find to be ‘bad’ – we know they are good! Love you sweet friend and am thankful to pray with you through all of this.

    • Thank you for praying and standing with me through the good and bad, Rebecca! When I saw that hollow trunk, that is exactly what came to mind—Laura Story’s “Blessings.” We just never know what God is doing behind the scenes.

  2. Chanda says:

    Thanks for this reminder Jennifer! I could get depressed in all the unrevealed mysteries of pain, loss, and suffering. It helps to believe that every little thing matters and is for our good and for His glory. I was taught recently from a spider bite and wrote a post about it…http://themommyhaven.blogspot.com/2013/07/sitting-on-my-duff-lost-art-of-being.html

    • A tough but necessary lesson learned. *Being* is more important than doing, and you’re right—we will never understand, this side of heaven, the reasons behind everything. We must trust in His goodness and love. Hard stuff!

  3. Great story! Great style!

    So sorry you had such difficulties, but what a lesson! What a glory in the ashes! (or sawdust :-) )

    Can’t make the AR convention–trying to get a new “son” this weekend. I SO, SO thought I was going, but no.

    Tell everyone hello for me? :)

    • Thank you! Yes, it was quite a lesson. He continues to prove His goodness to us time after time.

      I will miss seeing you in Little Rock tomorrow. I am praying that the expanding of your family goes smoothly!

      I will definitely pass along the greetings.

      Blessings, sweet friend!

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  6. Janet Reeves says:

    What a perfect analogy! God is so good.

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