Wednesday, April 06, 2011

One Thing I Know...

Oh God, one thing I know: You are good.

The other day someone texted me regarding something great that had happened, and at the end it said, “God is good.” When I read it, I thought “Well duh!” And then it hit me how often we praise Him for His goodness when things truly are good as we see them, but what about when we don’t see the good?

There are things in life that don’t look good on the outside. I’d certainly love to change some things about past experiences that hurt me or longings that are yet to be fulfilled or losses I’ve had to endure. Those things don’t look good upon first glance. In fact, they usually look terrible, and I’d like to say “um, thanks, but no thanks God!”

Don’t we all have that stuff? Don’t we all wish we could pick and choose the situations we find ourselves in like in a buffet line? Of course we’d all pick the good. Who doesn’t love a good juicy steak or yummy mashed potatoes or delicious strawberry shortcake with ice cream? Who would choose the bad stuff—like turnip greens, stinky cabbage, or straight vinegar? Very few people, I’d assume.

We don’t typically choose the bad in life, but sometimes it gets put on our plate. And when it does, we don’t normally look at it and say, “Yes! God is good.”

We ask questions. We doubt. We complain. We get jealous of what other people have. We get bitter and hardened hearts. We grow weary of relying on God and would just rather get along by ourselves. We wallow in self-pity.

In all of these ways, are we questioning God’s goodness just a little?

Don’t get me wrong; these things are a normal part of being human. I am fairly certain God knew we’d do this, but I’m more certain that He wishes we’d see His bigger picture. I wonder if He’s saying, in those moments, “Just wait…it looks bad, but one day you will see the good.” I don’t believe in the whole “everything happens for a reason” mentality, but I do think God can REDEEM everything and bring good from it. I believe Romans 8:28 when it says “we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Not in merely some things, but in ALL things He works for our good. And, ultimately, our good (what’s best for us) is HIS good. Our good is His will being done, His Kingdom being advanced, His Name being made known.

Right now I know of more people than I can count on my fingers who are hurting in a variety of ways. One is pleading for a baby and experiencing a loss. Another is in the hospital and probably pretty lonely. Another is making desperate attempts to survive in this world and making all the wrong decisions. A family across the country is watching their little girl suffer a destructive disease and fighting the battle against it. Another is struggling with friendships. Different people. Different situations. Different hurts. Some of them are believers, and some are not.

But I’m positive that ALL of them have been led to this place of wondering, maybe pleading with God, asking “WHY?” and wish their circumstances were not so.

I have been there.
I have asked that question many times, and I still keep asking.

I haven’t gotten many answers. I’m left unknowingly wondering about much, except for this one thing I DO know: that He is good.

Even when my world isn’t good, HE is good.

Once again, a song from the Oaks Worship album Lift Up the Light reminded me of this truth tonight. (I’m telling you, these songs are reaching down into the depths of my heart in ways a song hasn’t done in a long time. I highly recommend that you check out this album!!!)

With that said, I’ll end with these lyrics:

Oh God, one thing I know:
Every good gift flows from your heart
From the father of the heavenly lights.
You don’t change like shifting shadows-
Your light shines & my heart glows.

In mercy, provision, healing, compassion, freedom, redemption.
Your light shines & my heart glows.
One thing I know: You are good.
One thing I know: You are good.
One thing I know: You are good.