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.