Take a look around you. Everyone is different. There are different skins colors, hair styles, languages, likes and dislikes; just to name a few! The human race may be diverse, but they have some things in common. For example, every human has a birth date and immediately begins his or her journey towards the end of their physical life. Another thing that every human being has in common is the fact that each of us has good things happen to us and each of us has bad things to happen to us.
Job is probably one of the best, Biblical examples of an individual experiencing both “good” and “bad”. Job’s wife encouraged Job to abandon his faith in God (Job 2:9-10) after she had reached her melting point. Job reminded her that they needed to endure the hard times just as they enjoyed the easier times!
(Job 2:9-10) “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” (KJV)
Our Lord Jesus is another example of one who experienced both the “good” and the “bad”. Jesus makes His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem in the manner as prophesied (Zech. 9:9). We call this day Palm Sunday. As Jesus made His way into the city, the crowds grew larger and they waved palm leaves in front of Him and laid their garment upon the ground. Palm leaves are symbolic of grandeur and happiness. Willows, on the other hand, speak of sadness and hard times.
(Zechariah 9:9) “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (KJV)
It is quite interesting that when Moses conveyed the order of ceremonies for the Feast of Tabernacles in Leviticus 23, Israel was to gather both palms AND willows. Of course, this was they could have adequate materials to make the booths they were required to dwell in during their feast, but the implications are much more than that. This celebration was to offer the first-fruits of harvest. The bounty of harvest certainly endured both “good” and “bad”.
Jesus IS the first-fruits! He enjoyed the “palms”, but also understood what the “willows” meant in just a few short days. Our lives can be characterized by times under the palm trees as well as under the weeping willows. Just as a bouquet, and a wreath come from the same place, remember that God allows “good” and “bad” into our lives for our benefit!
(Romans 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (KJV)