Is Life Actually Good?

Today's guest blogger, Shelby Pruitt, brings a compassionate and poignant message at a time when many in our nation are grieving and also questioning what is good.
“Life is good,” we like to say as our toes stretch out over sparkling pool water or we lounge in the sun with an ice-cold drink in hand. I tend to think that statement when all my ducks (or should we say ducklings) are in a row, the house is tidy, and the bread turned out well this time. Sometimes I think it when we are taking a family day trip and everyone is chatting cheerfully with our favorite music playing in the background. I always define life as good when I’m feeling good. But is it?
What about the fact that at the very same time I’m snuggling with my babies, someone else is grieving about her empty arms? And when I’ve had a delightful chat with my parents, someone else is laying flowers on the grave of her mom? And when I’m cleaning my house and baking bread, someone else is battling with depression that threatens to keep her in bed all day? And when I’m laughing with my husband, someone else is cowering in fear of hers? And when my children devour books, someone else is setting up yet another IEP meeting with her child’s teacher? And when I step out my front door to enjoy a walk, someone else is hiding from bombs? Do we call this a good life?

When things are not going my way, can I still say life is good?

Does this juxtaposition of life situations mean that one isn’t true? I was pondering this thought recently and went a little deeper: When things are not going my way, can I still say life is good? These questions can only be answered by defining good. If good means everything is going my way, and I’m thriving, then life is rarely good. In fact, it’s uncertain, unpredictable, and unfair. But if good means that I am encountering the sovereignty of God and living out His purpose for my life, then yes, life is good. But doesn’t it seem callous to compare my level of circumstantial difficulties with someone whose daily objective is survival in the literal sense? My hardest moments might even seem good to them.
For those who are members of the household of faith, we can immerse ourselves in Hebrews 11-12. In these passages, we are reminded that hardship can be viewed as discipline (not punishment), preparing us for greater joy and peace. The trials strengthen our faith and allow us deeper fellowship with those who have gone before. For those who do not yet know Christ, hardship beckons their eyes heavenward; it serves as a reminder that there must be something more when rock bottom is hit; only God can rescue, redeem, and restore.

Jesus describes Himself as gentle and lowly; He longs to comfort the broken-hearted and set the captive free. In our lowest moments, He is there; on our mountaintop victories, He is there.

I am sure this might sound trite at best, cruel at worst. How self-righteous is it for me in western comfort to tell someone in a refugee camp that God is sovereign, and their suffering is bringing Him glory or to tell a grieving mom that her loss is meant to teach her more about God? These statements might very well be true in a basic sense, but they do not convey Christ’s heart—a heart whose essence is compassion. Jesus describes Himself as gentle and lowly; He longs to comfort the broken-hearted and set the captive free. In our lowest moments, He is there; on our mountaintop victories, He is there.
The concept that we are designed to glorify God and enjoy Him forever is the best definition of good. It provides meaning in the worst of times and exhilaration in the best of times. My goal is to declare that “Life is good because God is good” regardless of the situation.
AUTHOR BIO:
Shelby Pruitt was raised on the island of Oahu, where she earned her Master’s of Education in Teaching after being home educated from preschool through high school. She taught language arts for the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades at a private Christian school until motherhood became her next full time position. She and her husband live in Florida, where they homeschool their 7 young children. Shelby desires to honor and serve Jesus in all aspects of her life. She filters life through the lens of both mother and educator, for the two are truly interwoven; she believes that one of the primary objectives of both roles should be to keep the spark of learning alive—in herself and the children in her care.
Like the overarching question posed in this blog, you too, may have questions that need biblical answers. We invite you to purchase our latest book, Did Jesus Commit Suicide? And 27 Other Questions Teens Are Asking about the Bible (That Adults Want to Know, Too). Click HERE to learn more about this timely and pertinent resource.
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