God is good.
If you spend any time in the Christian Community you will inevitably hear this phrase. Usually when something really bad happens this phrase gets repeated constantly until it becomes white noise. Any Christian that tells you that this phrase ALWAYS comforts them is a lying liar and we need to have a serious talk because dude you have got to get your life back on track.
Sometimes I doubt the goodness of God. I want to believe God is good with 100% of my heart, but most of the time I’m lucky if that number is more like 70%. I prayed for something over the past week or so with all of my heart. I prayed constantly in a way I had never prayed before. It was the most amazing time in my life spiritually because I was finally experiencing something new; I was confident I would get the miraculous answer.
It wasn’t just me praying. There were people literally all over the world praying for the same situation I was praying for. People who I looked at as spiritual and prayer mentors were entering a kind of intercessory prayer I had never seen. And I was confident. So confident in the goodness of my God that I thought “This time I’m going to see a miracle happen. It’s going to happen!”
My dear friend’s father passed away last week. He was much too young, and much too healthy. A freak accident ended a life too soon. When I got the phone call last Wednesday telling me what had happened I felt like I had shattered into a million pieces. I was sitting in my car unable to stop crying. I had believed! I KNEW that God was going to do a miracle and that we were going to see the goodness of God in Bruce getting out of that hospital bed and going home. I knew it. God had done the miraculous before not just in Biblical times. I’d seen it happen in my lifetime to people I knew. The woman in church who had a brain tumor one day, and the next week it was gone with no medical explanation. The other man from my parent’s church, who fell out of a tree, lay close to death, and God brought him back to the shock and awe of his doctors. And finally, the mother who had cancer not once but twice and God healed her and now she sits across from me at dinner every night healthy. So I knew God could do it, and more than that I knew that God would do it.
And yet here I was sitting in my car weeping because he hadn’t done it. Bruce was dead and my friend had lost her father. And yet almost immediately through my tears a voice whispered to my spirit: “God is good.”
God is good.
God is good because he lets me cry. He is the last one to say “Stop crying! Don’t you know I did heal Bruce?” That is true. Bruce was healed. Bruce is whole today in the arms of God of that I am 100% certain. God’s answer was yes to healing, but no to healing on earth.
God is good because He knows that the answer He gave me disappoints me and He lets me feel that disappointment. God is good because He accepts my questions, my doubts, and my anger. God is good because He lets me weep.
I don’t know why God chose to bring Bruce home with Him. I know that God could have healed him here on earth. I don’t know why bad things happen. But God does. And someday I will too. Someday I’ll be face to face with God and it will all make sense. But that isn’t why God is good.
God isn’t good because someday I’ll get an answer. God is good because he holds me up NOW while I don’t know the answer. I don’t need the answer today. Frankly there is no answer that would make me feel okay about what my friend and her family have to walk through. An answer does not bring me comfort. God brings me comfort. God’s goodness brings me comfort.
I don’t know why. But God is good.
I’m disappointed. But God is good
I’m angry. But God is good
I’m sad. But. God. Is. Good.
God’s goodness wasn’t shown through His healing Bruce on earth. Instead it is shown in the strength of Bruce’s family as they walk through this most horrific of times. It is shown in his church’s strength as they struggle with sadness and questions. It is shown in the lives of every person that prayed for a healing that now clings to that one everlasting promise. God is good.
God’s goodness is being manifested in a healing way. It’s healing those of us left behind. God’s goodness is healing us slowly day by day. The pain won’t ever completely go away. But the depth of it will lessen and lessen. And each day I wake up and I cling to that hope; that cliché phrase that cannot stay a cliché when you really experience it.
God is good.
Psalm 136:1- “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His steadfast love endures forever.”