Intended For Evil, Meant For Good

I am on a roll this month, folks.

Actually, my current streak of calamitous events began at the end of last month, when I was bit by a dog on a bike ride near my 10325717_10154256908525217_532686178325625468_nhouse and had to subsequently receive my first tetanus shot in umpteen years. That was followed up this past weekend when something meteorologists described as a “macroburst” tore through the tiny community my family and I live in, uprooting trees and depositing a big chunk of the chestnut tree which stands next to our driveway on top of our minivan.

But the coup de gráce came yesterday, when a branch from the aforementioned tree smacked me right in the face, breaking my nose and requiring me to receive four stitches at the local emergency room … which explains why you didn’t read anything new from me here yesterday.

So, yeah, this hasn’t exactly been the greatest June for me so far. Why is that bothering me then?

I’ve written before about moments where I felt as if I was breaking through the veil of depression and learning to live not only with myself but also with the idea of a God who is good regardless of my circumstances. I don’t want to jinx what I’ve experienced recently, but the beginning of this month has felt like one of those times. (On a side note, I have honestly believed in my ability to jinx things for years. I say that in all seriousness. In fact, it was very difficult for me to type those last two sentences.)

I already wrote about the dog bite ad nauseam, so let’s start with the storm. Thankfully, the limbs that fell on top of our minivan did not do any damage. And when I say any damage, I mean that literally; the paint on the roof wasn’t even scratched. That’s not why I’m not bothered by what happened, though. I’m content because my children and I spent nearly a half-hour in a closet that day because of a tornado warning. There was, obviously, no tornado. We were safe. Our house was still standing. Things could have been much worse.

10443165_10154265282160217_7299247257488681852_oOr consider my now-broken nose. I was doing something stupid when the injury occurred, namely attempting to pull a hanging branch off of the aforementioned tree. My wife and two of my daughters were helping me, but I was yanking on the thickest part. I thought it would fall down; it had other ideas and came straight at my face as it separated from the tree. Caught me right across the bridge of the nose. Miraculously, though, the impact didn’t break my glasses. I had people there with me who could immediately get me to the hospital. Two inches higher and I probably would have been knocked unconscious. Things could have been much worse.

I don’t know what the heck is going on with me.

This is the type of string of events that should make me believe I’m living under some type of curse. I mean, that is a pretty crappy couple of weeks. Even now, I’m thinking of how my wife’s 20-year high school reunion is this weekend, and I’m probably going to be there with two black eyes and a swollen face. Somehow, though, I don’t feel as if the world is caving in. Bones heal, pain fades, storms pass. Is this fun? Well, no, it isn’t. When faced with what could have been, though, I somehow feel blessed to have gotten off as easily as I have.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” I am not at all putting what has happened to me on the level of what Joseph went through. In fact, I wouldn’t even put it on the level of what many of you reading this are going through right now. All I can offer is this: When you finally are able to see the good destination God was leading to you through the bad things, you will feel release.

I’m going to snap myself back to reality now by placing a cold pack across my nose and under my eyes to try to get some of this swelling down. My wife told me earlier today it looked like someone had done plastic surgery on me. At least I still have a head. And there are some funny things going on in there right now.

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