The day that we came home from the hospital with Mason, I remember sitting on the couch with my mom, breaking the news to her that Mason might have Down Syndrome. We cried together, and Bradley answered her questions, as best as he could. During our conversation I remember distinctly saying to her, “This is awful.” And, I meant it.
For about a week I couldn’t stop thinking this. I would find out more of the health risks associated with Down Syndrome, and would panic at the thought that Mason might have leukemia, be deaf, or have a hard time speaking properly. Mostly, I didn’t want him to be made fun of. Ever. In my mind and heart this was a bad thing.
As I prayed about this, begging God to not allow Mason to have Down Syndrome, I started really thinking through the word bad.
We use it so often,
“I had such a bad day!”
“They received some really bad news.”
“I just don’t want anything bad to happen to me.”
Why do I think that something is bad? What makes it bad? Or, rather who makes it bad?
I began to realize that if I thought a situation in life was bad, then I must think that God is bad, because He allowed it and, in fact, gave it to me.
This hit me hard.
I know that God is not bad. I was reading through the book of Psalm at the time, and came across 25:8, which says, “Good and upright is the LORD.” Again in Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!” There. Proof! God is good! Okay, so if God is good, what about this ‘bad’ thing that I thought I had in my life.
Bad is about perspective.
If I look at life from a human standpoint, then yes, certain things might appear to be bad. If I try to look at life from God’s perspective, then I will see that He is much greater than those things. He has purposes I know nothing about. Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
I had to remove the word bad from my vocabulary, from my mind, from my heart.
Hard. Yes, life can be hard.
Countless times in Scripture we see people facing hard challenges. Job is the most famous of all. His life was hard. He lost his family, his possessions, his health–and yet he praised God.
“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong,” Job 1:21-22.
As I started to change my perspective, I began to see that Down Syndrome was not bad. Something bad hadn’t happened. I didn’t receive bad news that day in the hospital. God was allowing something in my life that was hard.
Why would He do that, you might ask? Come back tomorrow…