God is good.
I have exclaimed this famous line hundreds of times, possibly even more. I have used it to comfort a friend, to congratulate someone for success, and even to assure people that their situation is going to get better. I have thrown around this statement almost without thinking, not attentively considering if it’s even appropriate or not, or whether the implications of what I declared and when I said it upholds God.
I have recited to various groups of people — strangers and familiar ones — comments like, “God is good. Your son will be healed.” Or, “God is good. You passed the test.” Or even, “God is good. He answered what you have been praying for.”
And yes, He is. He is good.
Yet do I genuinely believe it?
While I have never considered before that saying “God is good” to be inappropriate, but recently my attention kept going back to this very familiar line with a heavy heart. To my unwilling mind, I started thinking too much of it. It bothered me so much that I brought it up to my husband to discuss this fresh concept taking form in my head, so I can prudently examine it.
I know I have said countless times during worship at church that God is good all the time. But do I unquestionably see Him to be good all the time?
What if the son I declared to be healed in the name of God’s goodness was not healed? What if someone took and failed a test that person studied so hard for? What if He did not answer a prayer the way someone asked for it to be met but received something entirely different? What if a bad situation never got better after praying so hard for it to change?
Will I still say that God is good —- all the time? Will I still proclaim that God is good to these people, in the appearance of present events, whom He disappointed? Is God, then, still absolutely good?
In my limited view of the whole picture, I struggle to acknowledge that His goodness may not be the way I think it is. Maybe the son not being healed is God being good. Maybe failing the test is God being good. Maybe not receiving exactly what I prayed for is God being good. Maybe a bad situation not getting better is God being good.
Contemplating much on this, I came to a renewed and profound realization that God is indeed good all the time. Whether I like the way He is writing my life or not, I fully know in my heart and soul that He is good. Though not entirely free from wrangling with Him as to this reality, in the end He always establishes with me that He is good.
However, what disturbed me of late is not whether God is good or not but in how I have used it like a tagline to advertise God possibly reducing the true nature of His goodness.
The very essence of His goodness, a substantial amount of it, is very tough to welcome. A lot of times I cut out parts of His goodness and recognize only what seems reasonable and leave out what seems senseless to me.
When I throw around and almost unconsciously say to people, “God is good. He will give you what you need,” without fully understanding that what we need may translate into something entirely different in the eyes of God, it could dangerously misrepresent His character. Perhaps, even impair His relationship with someone.
With this before me, I now weigh more what I say and what I hear others say about God; I become more mindful of what I utter about God to those around me and more deliberate of what I take to be true about God from what others say about Him.
March 12, 2014
© 2014 Kezia Lewis. All Rights Reserved.