Noah cracks me up; he gets his sense of humor from his dad. There are times when he says something so funny, I have no words. I just laugh and look at him, then say, “I love you.”
Once, after I said that, he laughed and said I just love him when he’s funny. He was kidding, but it made me wonder why I say it so often during times he makes me laugh or does something sweet. I do love him then, but I also love him even when he is being obnoxious, or in a mood. My love for him isn’t based on what he does. I just love him all the time.
There is something our awesome worship leader says at church frequently: “God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good.”
It is true. Often I hear other people, and I will say it myself, after something goes really great in my life and we talk about how good God is. Like, getting extra money that was needed, or a surgery going well, or making it home safely. And He definitely gets the credit for all those things, and I am extremely thankful for each one of them.
But I have to make certain I know He is good even when…
Even when money doesn’t come, or there are complications, or car trouble. God is good.
His good isn’t proven by His actions. He defines good. All the time.
In the Bible, a guy named Hezekiah was King of Judah and was doing an excellent job at it. II Kings 18, verse 5 says, “Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.” He kept God’s commands and was very successful.
But he wasn’t perfect. In chapter 20, some visitors from Babylon’s kingdom stop by for a visit after Hezekiah had been so sick he nearly died. He welcomes them in and shows them every single thing he has in his kingdom.
What’s the harm in this? It doesn’t sound that bad, but it’s possible Hezekiah is doing this in an effort to sway the Babylonian kingdom to his side in fighting the Assyrians, just leaning a little to the side of depending on human power rather than God’s.
Isaiah quickly brings a message from God, saying that Judah will eventually be taken over by Babylon, leaving nothing. While this won’t happen during Hezekiah’s lifetime, it has a devastating impact on his descendants.
Crummy, right? But Hezekiah’s response…
“The word of the Lord you have spoken is good.”
God’s word is good because God is good. He defines good.
|Seriously, read this book… So good…|
In Jennie Allen’s book, “Anything” (which I HIGHLY recommend, by the way), she talks about her friend Rachel, who had a damaging childhood, with lasting effects into her adulthood. Yet Rachel is filled with joy and love for others, even for those who had hurt her, and most especially for her Jesus.
When asked how she could not feel like a victim, she answered, “You have to thank God for the seemingly good and the seemingly bad because really, you don’t know the difference.” (page 59)
She knew beauty could come from what seemed bad, and the same can happen from what seems like our bad as well.
We really don’t know the difference, just looking at a situation as it’s happening. Only God does. We have our own ideas for sure, but our scales aren’t weighted the same as God’s. He can see with an eternal sort of vision.
We can be much like a kid would see a good lunch as one filled with Cool Ranch Doritos and gummy worms, but a parent would know that vegetables and fruit and protein are good for helping the child grow and thrive. The parent knows what ultimately is good for the child. God knows what is good.
It is easy to see God as good when we are given the metaphorical Doritos and gummy worms, but He is just as good when we are given the metaphorical carrot sticks. He knows what is best for us, and ultimately what is best for bringing Him glory.
And trusting Him in this, it is the most freeing thing we can do.
If you are in the middle of some crummy stuff, trust God. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. If you believe He is real, and He is good, then you can trust His plan. And that trust can bring with it peace and rest, which is way better than worry anyway.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” – Psalm 34:8