There has been a recent awareness in me that people have forgotten about the goodness of God. It is not so much that we no longer believe that He is good (although there are people who are in a place of deception where they do think that), but rather that we have forgotten about His goodness. We have allowed mountains, challenges, trials and life to tell us how good God is, based on what we can see in our lives and our circumstances.
I want to tell you a story. I saw this Facebook post by Humans of New York (a page dedicated to photographing the random, street walkers of New York City and telling their story). This specific post was about a native, Nigerian man whose mother grew up in a poor village. He tells of how his mother always prayed for her children to be great, and as he grew up she would always address him with the word ‘great’. For example, when he wanted to become an engineer, she would call him ‘my great engineer’. When he wanted to become a computer scientist, she would call him ‘my great computer scientist’, and when he wanted to become a CEO, she called him ‘my great CEO’. Looking at his picture, I could see the influence that this had on his life. Wearing a suit and tie, standing proud and upright with a knowing of who he is, this man is well on his way of becoming great indeed. All because some woman, in a poor village in Nigeria wanted to give her children something better, and decided to start with her words.
As I read this, I felt the Holy Spirit reminding of the Scripture in Matthew 7:11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” In my own words: If we, being merely human, know how to give good (or even just better things) to our children, how much more is God the Father tapped into all that is good and pure? How much more is His hand open to freely give to us all good things?
Let me ask you this: Does the glorious view from the summit of Mount Everest change into a ghastly scene, simply because it was challenging to get to the top? Neither does God change because of your circumstances. Does the majesty of the view increase in value because of the challenge to get there? Value increases as rarity or cost to obtain said experience, article, object or accomplishment increases. All of a sudden, after tears and sweat, after the mental struggle and fight with yourself to keep going , after injury and heartbreak, after snowstorms and frostbite, great heights and confronting fears you find yourself on the mountain. You take a deep breath (maybe a few) and when you look up, you see more than just the view. All of a sudden the view is no longer just a pretty picture. It is the entire experience you have had, wrapped up in victory. Not just one victory, for there were many challenges along the way, but Victory as a whole – you finally understand what being a Victor means. Freedom effortlessly follows victors and nothing worth having ever required nothing from us. Which brings me to my next point.
God, our Father, in His unfailing, unfathomable LOVE, gave His Son to pay and suffer all that was required for us to obtain victory. Before Him there really was NO way our proverbial Everest would even be a possibility for us, let alone something we now conquer every day! Because of Him we have an unmissable shot at victory and freedom. If that isn’t good, I don’t know what is. Have you ever, even if it was just for a moment, felt the immense weight of responsibility of being the spear-point of some or other endeavor? Being the first person to do something, so that others may follow and the road might be allot easier for them? Okay, now multiply that with infinity and completely drench it with all the love you can muster. Do you feel that? That is probably about where Jesus only started out on His mission. And yet, His goodness extends even further still!
Not only was victory, freedom, healing and eternal life given to us at the highest price universally possible, but our access to our Father was restored completely. No more need to call a friend or use up a life line when we have direct access to Love Himself. You see, we are never climbing that mountain alone, and contrary to popular belief, the mountain is not some sort of prove-your-worth challenge to see if you are worthy or to see what you need to learn, but it rather serves as proof of your worth. Superman would feel quite offended if people thought he can only handle a BB-gun, when inside of him is locked-up strength of a 1000 men and speed like no one else on earth. But I must say, Superman would never have known what he was capable of had he not encountered some challenges along the way. Likewise, challenges are not meant to destroy us. Challenges are tools used to reveal to ourselves what lies within us. The mountain climber at the top of Everest would have no problem handling a few hick-ups once he’s realized what he is capable of now. I am reminded of the Scripture in Romans that says “…all things work together for good for those who are in Christ…”. Are all things orchestrated by a good God? I do not believe so. BUT He makes all things and any type of ‘thing’ work out for good, because He has already won! Now, He enjoys the journey with us, and when we encounter the rough spots, He is right there with us wrapping us in His unfailing Love.
Now, you might be thinking ‘Why isn’t she focusing on the real issues at hand? I mean, I have some real stuff going on and fluffy-puffy word-play won’t sort that out for me.’ It has been my experience that emphasizing the hard things we go through, by no means lightens the load. This does not mean that we are ignorant of what goes on around us, this just means that instead of focusing on everything that is going on around, we turn our eyes to where we KNOW our help will come from. The answers we need may take any shape, but they come from a loving Father. And so, when we are challenged by our own personal circumstances, global warming, xenophobia, racism, poverty, addiction, insecurity, or fear of missing out (FOMO – keep an eye open for a future blog on this topic), our answers and help ultimately comes from our Father. He is changeless and steadfast; He is not swayed by our storms, instead He will show you how to calm them.
I will leave you with this: God is good. He is with you always. He loves you. That will never change.
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive…abundant in loving-kindness to all who call upon You. Psalm 86:5
The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works. Psalm 145:9
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude. 1 Timothy 4:4
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17
O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8
Hope you have been blessed by this! You are more than welcome to share any form of testimony on this subject, just drop it in a comment!
All my love,