Monday, April 28, 2008

still good, always good

Somewhere, I can't remember where now, I have written down a quote from my Uncle Don at an old C&C Bible study: "God is good. Don't let anyone tell you different."

I guess it doesn't matter now where I wrote it down on paper; it's been written on my mind. And I'm grateful it has.

I feel lately like I am taking a crash course in life. While I live in my little insulated bubble, worrying about how to conjugate verbs, how to stay awake in the long lectures of Mr. Wikipedia, and why I haven't practiced the music for Sunday, it's like I am watching a dizzying array of battles being fought around me. Battles with depression. Battles with doubt. Battles with divorce. Battles with death. Battles with health problems -- health problems of young parents, health problems of little kids. Battles with past hurts. Battles with the horrors of war. Battles with financial trouble.

All the while in my own heart I see a horrible, boring, ugly battle with sin.

In each of these battles I hear an accuser whispering (or shouting, or just observing smugly), "This is it. This is the proof. God is not good."

Sometimes I let those accusations fester into a kind of cloud of fear hanging over me -- fear that one day a curtain of my naivete will be pulled back and I'll see that all those ugly things I'd hoped He was somehow working out for good weren't really good at all, but just ugly and painful, plain and simple.

But I KNOW He's good. I KNOW.

I have seen Him work what looks bad into what is unbelievably good. I have heard testimony of His goodness from the lips of those who have suffered incredible pain. I have tasted of His goodness -- and tasted the most sweetly -- in those passages of my life that have seemed the most completely bad. I have seen His goodness in everyday things -- in peaches and sunshine and mountains and stars. I have heard it in earnest voices singing loud and out-of-tune. And I have smelled it in the warm sweet smell of a completely trusting baby asleep in my arms. Most of all I have read of His goodness, frequently extolled by those who were witnesses to the same battles I've watched (and much much worse), and who were troubled by the darts of the same accuser. (One thing I haven't run across in the Bible is a set of rose-colored glasses.)

I know He's good.

He's not good because things are good. Most of the time things aren't good. And he's not good because people are good. Most of the time people aren't good, either.

What amazing mercy He shows us, even in seasons of doubt.

He is good. Good. Don't let anyone tell you different.


becky said...

Yes I agree! God is good. Knowing that He works everything out for our good gives me a peace when I am going through trials. Even though I am tempted to fret (I do fret) deep down inside I know that God doesn't always fix our problems the way we want Him to but He walks with us through the storm(s). And in the end we are much closer to Him than we were before.

becky said...

Oh and yes I agree......the simple things of life brings happiness....that is so funny that you mention these things in your post......

in peaches and sunshine and mountains and stars. I have heard it in earnest voices singing loud and out-of-tune. And I have smelled it in the warm sweet smell of a completely trusting baby asleep in my arms.

When I look back on my childhood years and think about my father's death I remember these simple things in life God used to bring happiness.

Cheese said...

I feel like I've just read a modern paraphrase of one of the Psalms, like Psalm 28 or 30.

Amber Dawn said...

Amazingly, the times I'm most aware of how GOOD God is is during the most difficult times in my life. Thanks for your post. It is good.

mle said...

Is that you, BGO? If so, I know that winning a poetry contest can be a defining moment in one's life (especially if the win is greeted by much heraldry and, like, the coolest victory crown ever), but I had no idea it was that defining. Maybe it's time you were assigned a new topic.

Jourdan said...

As always you reflect my thoughts on your blog. I can relate most to the part about watching battles around you. These past couple months have been greatly overwhelming to those around me dealing with ALL SORTS of problems. It sometimes feels as though I'm flipping through episodes of the Real World, The Hills, Cops every time I pick up the phone to call someone or decide to hang out with them.. all the while I'm dealing with my own sin. Thanks for posting Em. And guess what? I'm applying to the Peace Corps... Started the application today.

Jourdan said...

Let me rephrase... I'm wanting to go into it, when I say started I mean got an account. I'm waiting until I get my degree.

BGO said...

You deduced correctly :-). I surely don't consider the poem writing contest any defining, however, it was convenient for use as a pseudonym. Perhaps the next Poetry contest that you propose will be my more defining. Hope you’re doing well.

BGO said...

"as" not "any"