Writing this blog has been a very intentional process. I have sat on these missives for a long time, making sure that it was a God thing, not a me thing. I have sat on them because of my own misgivings about whether or not I actually hear from God, or that I am advertising my story as I did this all and this is what you should do to. Faith is not a method, it is just faith. I believe in what is unseen. Knowing in my heart that “God is good” was my next blog post, I experienced my first case of writers block. I did what I often do. I second guessed what I have experienced. I even went to someone else to educate me more so that I can sound good, like I know what I am talking about. Then there are the circumstances in my life that could say the opposite, that God isn’t good. I am in a state of confusion because I am being told God wants someone to be happy at the expense of real love, at the expense of another human life. This situation is costing my family and jolting me into feeling responsible for something that I am not responsible for. It leaves me at a crossroads. Asking, “what is love and forgiveness really?” I could go my way and live angry and bitter or do it God’s way and say, “you are forgiven.” Then there is the horror of Paris. So, really? I have to write about how God is good? Really. If this seems messy, it is. This post is supposed to be messy because the reality of a walk with Jesus is that we come to forks (yes, plural) in the road. Jesus’ path is straight and narrow but I have free will to veer off at the fork of my own circumstances where Jesus’ way is just to hard. So, God is good is going to be a messy blog.
The other piece of this title is that “God is good” is so Christian cliche. It is what Christians say when there is nothing else to say. In fact it can be said in such a discouraging tone that it leaves one with a bad taste in their mouth. God is good. It is true. Jesus himself says it: “No one is good except God alone.” Luke 18:19.
So how is God good? Because each and every day I get a clean slate to walk in the light, to be good in the world. Because I have been forgiven. Because God rescued me from a pit of despair. Because God saved my marriage, my husband, and my children. Because He planted me by streams of living water. Because He is with me all of the time. Because He lives inside of me. Because I am a daughter of the one true King.
Why is God good to the world? Because He came to Earth as a man and experienced everything we experience. He knows all of his creation so intimately that if we actually knew how intimate it really is, we would all be brought to our knees in humility and awe. He knows our pain, he knows our heart. He has compassion and mercy on us. He heals all of our diseases. Because God is faithful to His word, He says He is good.
The thing that bothers me about things that go wrong is that God often takes the rap for it. As if God strikes us with disease to punish us or make us spend time with him. As if God allows 8 possessed people to bring terror on a peaceful city. As if He orchestrates bad things to make us turn to Him. None of that stuff is true. God doesn’t make us do anything, doesn’t make us sick, and doesn’t “allow” pain, suffering, poverty, death, terror or anything bad. We have free will, we have our own understanding or lack thereof. There are those who choose to do evil. People choose to be selfish. Evil and selfishness is not God. It is the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. There is evil lurking in our world and it is not authored by God, it is authored by the devil. Can the devil take the rap for once?
Okay…deep breath…There is hope.
What gives me hope is that most often what comes out of disaster is unity. Humanity comes together in solidarity to support one another in times of trouble. This is when God’s mercy is on full display, His creation comes together to bring each other good. All that is good comes from God. Because, God is good.
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. James 1:16-18
I sincerely believe in the free will of humanity to choose between good and evil. I am thankful that God does not coerce us into believing in Him or doing things his way. I am thankful for a loving and kind God who works ALL things for good, even the things that make us question His goodness. I am thankful for humanity, that in times of trouble, we come together to support and love one another the way God intended…it is no accident.
Hallelujah! God is good.