Judson's Legacy

All Things for Good


I have been grappling, for quite some time, with the passage of Scripture that includes Romans 8:28 which states that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purposes.

All things?!!!?!  I certainly love Him and definitely feel called to His purposes, but how is it that the Lord could be working all things for my good?!  How is it that Judson’s death could be used for my individual good?

There is no possible personal gain I could experience here on earth that would be worth the loss of my son!!!!

And so I have wrestled, and wrestled, and wrestled…

The point could be made that God is working all things for the collective good of those who love Him, the good of the Church, capital “C”, and not necessarily the good of the individual.  I have seen, in our circumstance, how God is using Jud’s life and death for the good of others, and this is certainly a blessing to us as parents.  However, I’m not convinced this is the intent of this passage. The collective good may be involved here but it appears there is an individual aspect to this passage as well. 

How could Jud’s death possibly be used for my good??!!!?!?

A separate point could be made that the word “all” is simply a euphemism to strongly state that God is for us, but it does not necessarily mean that every circumstance will yield “good” for the Lord’s people.  With this interpretation, Jud’s death could be one of the exceptions rather than the rule.  However, I firmly believe in the all-encompassing nature of this passage…“all” means “all”.

Again, how could Jud’s death possibly be used for my good??!!!?!?

It dawned on me that my struggle with this verse hinged on one word-the word “good”. 

When I hear the word “good”, I tend to think of temporal gains-things that bring ease, comfort, and security in this lifetime. However, no temporal gain could possibly be worth the value of my son!!!  This type of “good” could never merit Jud’s death.  And it’s not that we have not had temporal good as a result of this experience, we certainly have and are very grateful for all that has come to us as a result of Jud’s death; it’s just that I’d rather have my son than all the “good” this earthly life can afford.

Therefore, if Romans 8:28 is indeed true, then apparently my understanding of the word “good” must be faulty.  A paradigm shift became necessary.

What does God value as good?

Certainly not temporal gain!  My Father wants to develop my eternal character.  He wants my heart.  He wants me to see the world through His eyes.  He wants me to long for His perfect Kingdom.  He wants to grow my love for Himself and others.  My ultimate good, as woman intent on His purposes, is to journey into greater depths of relationship with my God and King.

To that end, it is feasible to see how the Lord can and is working all things, even Jud’s death, for my personal “good”.

And though I have begun to recognize this truth, admittedly, it is not an easy paradigm for me.  I am more wrapped up in this temporal world than I want to be, and to be quite frank, eternal good rarely feels like enough.  I still tend to want Jud’s death to yield an ultimate “good” that I can taste, see, and touch in this lifetime, that could satisfy my loss. 

Yet, my Heavenly Father wants me to seek one thing…this is my ultimate “good”…to dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze upon His beauty and to seek Him in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)  He has promised that one day in his courts is better than thousands elsewhere (Psalm 84:10), and if we love Him and are called according to His purposes, then this type of “good” is, in fact, more than enough.

Oh Lord, please begin to replace my attachment to this temporal world with all that You value as “good.”  Amen.


8 Responses to "All Things for Good"

  1. Christie says:

    Christina, I can’t imagine the struggle you’ve had over this verse. Your transparency in the journey of meditating on each detail, each word of this verse touches me and I will be rereading this post … will print it off to save it. Isn’t it the fear of the future and loss that keeps most of us from living fully now? I know it does for me. Thanks for showing another way that we can fully trust God now.

  2. 33901 says:

    I enjoy reading your blog and am inspired by your conversations with the internet world. I think you should read the book, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." It changed my way of thinking and helped me tremendously. Good Luck.

  3. Mandy says:

    Hi Christina,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now, and you stay in my thoughts and prayers so much of the time. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    You are right about the eternal gains being far greater than the temporal gains, but I hope you also remember the few temporal gains that have come from your situation.

    In your May 31 entry about Drake leaving town for a few days, you said:

    "It struck me how much more connected we have become through Jud’s suffering, death, and our subsequent sorrow. Drake is the only other person walking the face of this earth who truly understands my experience and grief because it is his experience and grief too. There are others severely affected by the circumstances, but none of them parented Jud-it was just the two of us. Drake’s sorrow is my sorrow, and my sorrow is his; we "get" each other in a way no one else can.

    In reading about the impact of the loss of a child on a marriage, more often than not, the strain is heavier than most unions can withstand. But in rare cases, this type of grief can actually develop a greater bond between husband and wife…I humbly feel as though God has protected and even deepened our marriage relationship through this process.
    Drake and I are bound together, not only by our vows, but by our tragedy."

    Then, on April 23, about Jesse:

    "I was conversing with a friend who happened to be at "Judson’s Park" today and she made the comment, "Jessie is such an amazing miracle, isn’t she?!!"

    Touched when people recognize how fortunate we are to have her, I responded, "In a hundred different ways she is such a miracle! She’ll probably never even quite grasp this concept."

    "My heart swells with inexpressible gratitude when I pause for even a moment to consider the gift we’ve been given in our Jessie Girl. "

    My dad always talks about how losing the first two babies to miscarriages made him appreciate having my brother and me so much more when they finally got us. I wonder if you cherish Jesse that much more because of the loss of Judson. You realize that she’s a miracle, a precious miracle that could be taken away at any moment, and for that reason you can feel so much more grateful to have her.

    Certainly gaining these things were not completely worth losing your son for; the eternal is still what matters most, but I believe God is still working this horrible situation for your good, even here on earth.

    God Bless.

  4. 34449 says:


    There is a blog that I read written by a woman that was just contemplating this very thing. I found her "discussion" very interesting. Maybe you will too…

    Monday, July 21, 2008
    ReAl LiFe MoNdAy…


  5. Gary Hegenbart says:

    Christina, bless you for your honesty and openly sharing doubts, yet at the same time allowing your hopeful faith always try to shine through in your thinking. How deeply you must be hurting so many minutes of each day; I know Sarah is, especially when she’s with Amelia–our new grandbaby now 6 months already. Life just doesn’t seem fair many days, and seems extra "unfair" to those who love the Lord. I have had times in my life when I’ve gone through the same thought process; in fact, I remember years ago during an event when someone I admired as my spiritual father/mentor turned from the Lord that I actually went to church where I was a deacon and yelled out loud to God about how angry I was that HE let this happen and how it was going to hurt so many people, and I felt like I was dying inside because I was so young as a Christian and just didn’t get how someone so great (our head elder) could just walk away from God. (He’s back stronger than ever now by the way.) I still struggle with looking at Judson’s picture on my desk at work and praying for all of you and Sarah about the "whys" but you have put a perspective that I hope will help you through the toughest of days.

    I’ve had other events in my life that have broken my heart and I just don’t get it; but it will all vanish so quickly when we are at the feet of Jesus. Not that we necessarily want to leave our loved ones here, but I too sure do have my mind, eyes and gaze fixed on Heaven.

    I do hope you are taking these various clips of yours and Drake’s and they result in a book because it may seem insignificant at times but you and Judson’s story I know literally are filling extra mansions (I prefer Italian villas on ocean and golf courses as my viewpoint of Heaven) up there.

    Only the best,
    Gary H

  6. johnny says:

    uonbmR Thanks for good post

  7. ccrawfordshelterisland says:

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  8. CrisBetewsky says:

    It’s a pity that people don’t realize the importance of this information. Thanks for posing it.

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