Sunday, January 4, 2015

God is Good

The phrase “God is good” has become a popular tagline on social media.  We’ve all seen it: “Got a new job.  God is good!”  “Test results came back.  God is good!” And, of course, my personal favorite, “Expecting a baby [insert date 6 months from now].  God is good!” Maybe it’s just me, but something about the pairing of good news with the phrase “God is good” makes me cringe.  What if you hadn’t gotten the job?  What if the test results had been different?  What if it had been six years, not six months, and you still didn’t have that baby?  Would God still be good?

Of course He still would be good; of course He still IS good.  I honestly don’t think anyone means to imply differently in typing those three little words.  But the teacher in me, the writer in me, the thinker in me has never been comfortable with this seemingly cause-and-effect relationship that has been perpetuated on social media.  God’s goodness is not an “if…then” statement.   It’s an eternal, unshakable, absolute fact: God is good.  All the time!

Exactly a year ago, my husband and I began a round of fertility treatments.  We were slow movers in this area and it wasn’t a process we undertook lightly.  We truly sought God’s will; we had waited, we had prayed, and we felt strongly that it was time to take this step.  For the first time in months and perhaps even years, I allowed myself to believe I could actually become pregnant; we checked dates, discussed names, and dreamt dreams we had both tried our best to push aside. 

All the while, I knew that the chances were still slim, that nothing about our situation had truly changed, and most likely we would be let down again.  For this reason, we didn’t share this part of our journey publicly; we wanted to be able to deal with the disappointment in our own way.  When it was all said and done and we were faced with the fact that our arms would remain empty, there was still a truth I held onto: God is good.           

So often, we question God.  Why does one person wait, miss out, or suffer while another is blessed?  How does He decide?  Is it even Him doing the deciding?  Does it matter?  I’ve decided that it doesn’t.  I don’t need to know.  All I need to know is this: God IS good.  And if we all got what we wanted, what we think we deserve, would I be so sure?  I think not.  Sometimes all we’ve got is the comfort of His goodness, but in those moments, that is more than enough.  It’s those moments that make us who we are and those are also the moments that make God who He is.

A few days ago, a photo appeared on my Timehop app that took me right back to those long winter months a year ago.  In an effort to keep my head on straight through those weeks, I had compiled some Bible verses to read daily and saved them as an image on my phone:
As desperately as I wanted God to answer my prayer, I was also desperate to hold onto the truth of who He was, no matter how things turned out.  I’m thankful for the way He has been good to me the past few years, even when that goodness was all I had to hold onto.  No surprises, no announcements, no earth shattering news from above… but yet God is good.  And I’m thankful. 

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