36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. 39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the human tendency to categorise life’s circumstances as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
In the case of the story of Anna here, she lost her husband after only 7 years of marriage and then lived as a widow for many years afterwards. That’s ‘bad’, right? But look at what this enabled Anna to do – she lived at the temple, worshiping, praying and prophesied that the child Jesus was the coming messiah.
But what if I look at life through the lens of Romans 8:28 – our God is able to work all things together for good for those who follow Him. This helps me see things from a different perspective, and instead of labeling circumstances as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, I am prepared to see things as ‘both’.
When difficult things happen to us, when the enemy comes at us to cause trouble, our God is able to turn those ‘bad’ things into good. He is the God of ‘both’.
What things are happening around me that I am considering categorically ‘bad’ but God doesn’t see it that way? Lord help me to see through Your eyes of faith to be a person sees the ‘both’.
Written by Shelley Witt