Good Out of the Bad
September 9, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. - Romans 8:28 NKJV.
Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. - Genesis 50:19-21 NKJV.
Nineteen months ago 22-year-old Ben McMahon of Australia was involved in a severe car accident, and he was in a coma for a week before he finally woke up. Soon after he awakened, he spoke to his nurse in Mandarin Chinese! He had studied the language in school, but it was only a basic knowledge of the language, and he was far from being fluent in speaking Mandarin. It took several days before he could again speak in English, however, his fluency in Mandarin has remained. Ben said this later about what has happened to him, “It was like a dream. It was surreal. It was like my brain was in one place but my body in another. I just started speaking Chinese, they were the first words that left my mouth.” A new world has opened up for the man with his new found language ability. He has led Chinese tours of his hometown of Melbourne. He has become one of the hosts for a Chinese language variety show called “Au My Ga” which means “Oh My God.” The show tries to bridge the gap between Australian and Chinese culture in Australia. Ben has now started college in Shanghai to study commerce with his newfound language skill. (NY Daily News 07.16.14; Orange News 09.05.14)
Good can come out of very bad things and Ben McMahon is at the very least a worldly example of that occurring. Ben had an accident so severe that it left him in a coma for a week and it took him some time to recover from it. The bad thing opened up a new world of opportunities for the man, which would never have happened without the accident.
In the Old Testament, we have the story of Joseph, who at the hands of his brothers was nearly killed, but instead was sold into slavery. While in slavery, Joseph was unjustly put in prison until he was able through the power of God to interpret the dreams of the Pharaoh. Joseph surely experienced some very bad things before being released from prison to become the second most powerful person in the kingdom, and perhaps the world. Joseph stored the excess grain from the harvests and by this provision the Egyptians, Joseph’s own family, and other nations were able to survive the years of famine. Joseph’s brothers did mean evil by their selling Joseph into slavery; however, God meant it for good.
No matter how horrific some thing may be, God can bring good out of it. I say, “can” because the promise of Romans 8:28 is not automatic. God can bring good out of the bad for who? For “those who love God,” and for “those who are the called according to His purpose.” We see in the life of Joseph that in spite of the bad things that happened to him, he continued to “love God,” and he sought to see the fulfillment of God’s will in his life and in the lives of others. May we do the same!