Until about a week ago, my oldest’s favorite t-shirt was a Life is Good shirt that a Boston buddy handed down to him a couple of years ago. Sometimes even clean clothes he doesn’t want to put away end up in his laundry hamper, but amazingly that shirt is never dirty.
Even when I can smell it from across the room.
My guy has hit a couple of growth spurts lately and the shirt’s getting a little snug, so I was thrilled when Zulily had Life is Good shirts for a really good price. I bought a couple for each of the kids and now his new Life is Good shirt is his favorite. He wore it three days in a row before I finally convinced him to let me wash it while he slept so he could wear it again the next day. Hey, it’s summer and “What You’re Wearing Today” is not a hill upon which I’m willing to die. Which is why when he’s not wearing that shirt he’s usually wearing some combination of black and blue together because he knows it bugs me when he dresses like a bruise.
Ah life is good, right?
It’s summertime and the living is easy. We’re staying up later and waking most mornings when we feel good and ready. Homemade ice cream with fresh fruit appears regularly on our dinner menu. I live near the beach and nothing makes me happier to have my toes in the sand. The kids are out of school and we have more time to laugh and play together. My husband has a job, we have a roof over our heads, and we’re all pretty healthy.
So, life is good….except when it isn’t.
I remember seeing someone walk by in the hospital wearing a Life is Good hat the day the neurosurgeon told us my dad had another brain tumor and we were out of treatment options. I remember feeling angry and thinking, “No, it isn’t. Life is NOT good today.”
When everything feels broken, it’s hard to see how life is is good.
My friends just got back from Africa. People die everyday there because they don’t have clean water or mosquito nets. That’s the good life?
Life doesn’t feel good for my friend She is hurting for her daughter who is currently on the other side of the country visiting her father because the law says she has to.
Twice a day at 10:10, I am not thinking, “Ain’t life good?”
Sunday night, a plane crashed in Alabama killing all seven passengers: a dad, a mom, and five young children. He was a soccer coach and played on the worship team at my church. She was a daycare owner and the sweet lady I chatted with sometimes during Upwards practice. The minute they opened their eyes in Heaven, life was better for them than they’d ever known it, but for the sixteen-year-old daughter who wasn’t on the plane with them, life is not good.
Life is hard.
Life isn’t always good.
After He’d finished creating everything, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
But then sin entered the world and brought with it disease and death and pain. God’s world was broken into sharp pieces that cut to the bone of His perfect creation. Daily I am reminded this earth is not my home. I’m only passing through.
But in the meantime, we live here. Where life is hard, but God is good.
Even when we don’t understand His ways or whys.
Even when we don’t like the people He created because they’ve hurt us.
Even when His people spend more time arguing their philosophies about who He is and what He meant than just doing the things we can all agree He told us to do.
Even when we get it all wrong and completely miss the point of what He’s trying to tell us.
Even when life isn’t, even then, God is good.
And especially because sometimes life isn’t good, I find that I’m more and more appreciative of the times when it is.
For the Braves and the Red Sox.
For the chance to eat hot dogs three times this week. I do love a good hot dog.
For the summer showers that bring down the afternoon temperatures.
For a sweet little girl’s toothless grin.
For the hugs of my boys.
For a husband who listens to me ramble on and on about everything and nothing.
For family and friends who love me like I am.
All of these are precious gifts….perhaps a small foretaste of glory divine.
A few days ago, the kids were fighting and my daughter grabbed her brother by his new Life is Good shirt and ripped a hole in the shoulder seam. Understandably, my son was very upset. I can’t even sew on a button, but I found some thread that matched and did my best to stitch up the tear. It isn’t perfect; if you look closely, you can see where I tried to fix it, but at least it’s wearable.
Kind of like life here right now. It isn’t perfect anymore and we can’t fix it back the way it was. But every now and then we get a little taste of what life was meant to be and what it will be again one day in Heaven for those of us who believe He will make life good again.
Until then, I’m thankful for lightning bugs.
And 72-degree days with sun and just a whisper of breeze.
And fat little baby knees.
And the hope of the best that is still yet to come.
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33