I am wondering if much of our internal wrangling can be distilled into a question? It sounds like, “Is God really good and can He be trusted with our lives?” Seriously, there is alot of bad stuff going on in the world. I would elaborate but my wrangling about the issue of bad stuff happening to good people has left me weary. One only has to open AOL homepage to be bombarded with a barrage of bad news. Its everywhere!
I don’t like how life unfolds for some people. My friend, who has made a living singing for God, because of his cancer, is facing the recommendation of having his stomach refashioned into an esophagus. Yes, he has prayed for healing and for years traveled with “Healing Evangelists“. He is a good man but Is God good? Prayers go unanswered. Is God listening? I have watched people hang their heads in shame and walk away slumped shouldered after yet another prayer is offered for their healing. Disappointments. Shattered dreams. Sh*t happens you know.
I recently found out that my dad knew his cancer would eventually do him in. He was told by his doctor that he had 3 to 5 years but he chose to never speak of it. When he was living in the sixth year beyond this disclosure, I really wish he talked to me about what was on his heart. I felt robbed of treasured moments with my dad and the blessing of my father.
So how does all this relate to God? Can you see how important it is to decide how you are going to believe? If God is Really Good, then there is meaning to be discovered in the midst of our suffering. We can trust that even in the midst of our storms we will find our bearing when tossed on a turbulent emotional sea. There is hope that we will be led eventually to safe harbor. But what if God isn’t good? What if He is inconsistent? What if He has evil intent? What if He is so pissed at all of us selfish human clods that He is plotting ways to get even? Then we are all in serious trouble!
This morning, after a brief wrestling match between my heart and my logic, I chose, once again, to conclude God is Really Good. Since I am not a parrot, my heart takes no solace in chirping the words of another. I must discover truth in my experience. I only need to look to my history with God, He has been very good. And I look at Jesus.
It has been said that Jesus is “Perfect Theology.” He came to show us the Father (God). The fact that He revealed the Creator of Everything as “Father” is significant. This truth speaks directly into the heart of an orphaned planet. We need to know we belong… and that we are cared for.
It is also observed that everything that happened before Jesus revealed the need of mankind, and everything that came after Jesus revealed the answer. So every situation we face offers us the opportunity to see God’s goodness. But we must settle this question in our hearts.
I made a decision that I wasn’t going to buy into the Good God Bad God theology. By refusing to lower my expectations of God, I don’t have to shrink the vastness of His power and beauty into my limited experience like trying to pack too many clothes into a handbag. My choice to believe allows me to expand. Maybe my current perspective needs to be transformed because what God wants to reveal to me is beyond my perceptions.
Jesus only did good things. He healed the sick, EVERY sick person, who came to him. He cast out evil spirits from tormented souls. He forgave the sinful while lifting them from the dirt. He partied with outcasts. He was long-suffering with the questioning, slow-to-believe disciples. He gave people back their dreams. He gave them purpose and hope. He showed us the heart of God and it was good.
So, the choice is ours. It’s a matter of making a decision. Will we curse God and die? Or will we choose to believe God is good even when life seems bad? Will we find peace in an ever-expanding view of God in this wild and wonderful reality called “living”?
Is God really Good? Yes, I believe He really is. My heart knows this. I realize my weariness slowly transitions into peace. The heaviness of my heart begins to be infused with joyful stregth. And all this, because of a choice to believe. God is good… all the time!