Is God good even when things are not?
I found myself saying, “God is so good,” the other day after finally hearing good news for once at the baby doctor. But was God still good all the times I left hearing bad news? Was He still good after I received a high-risk diagnostic? Was He still good after continued and unfolding complications?
Was God good when I joined the Church and I lost my friends and had years of silence from some family members? What of mine and my husband’s years of unemployment while pregnant, twice! Two full pregnancies unemployed! What of me following God, who took me away from my home and my family and brought me all the way across the country, just for things to fall apart even more when I got there?
What about all the times I’ve lost my voice in my prayers because things were getting harder? What about all the times I’ve prayed, and He never answered? Or all the times I feel like I’ve felt that my fasts we’re unfulfilled and my desires were ignored, losing track of all the times I was brought down unwanted and uncharted paths? What of the times miracles didn’t come?
Where is God in all that? How could He let that happen? Why didn’t He prevent it? Can He be trusted? Why is it taking so long? Does He really care about me? Is He even there at all? Why do I feel alone? Where are my answers? Where are my promised blessings? Who is this God that allows these things to happen? Is He really good?
But what if it wasn’t God that was failing me. What if it was me? What if I was improperly placing blame? What if there was a different way to look at all this? What if I had it all backward? What if we got it all wrong?
Like the Apostles waking up Christ, who was sleeping on a boat during what seemed to be a life-threatening storm, we too sometimes find ourselves wondering if He is sleeping through the times when we feel we so desperately need Him the most. We wonder where relief is, we plead for Him to calm our storm because it’s as though we may not make it. Or at the very least, we plead for to Him to wake up—to be conscious, to be mindful, to be present—for our raging storms we’re in the midst of.
I have been in too many raging storms, wondering too many times if I will be able to make it, losing my voice too many times because of how loud my pleadings have been, physically aching from wondering if He is sleeping, asking that question we sometimes sing: Heavenly Father, are you really there?
But then sharing my good news from the doctors with others, I find myself getting bothered by the phrases we often give in response to miracles or survival, “oh, angels were definitely with you!” Or, “oh, God was definitely watching over you!”
Because what of those who don’t make it? What of those who don’t receive the wanted miracle or healing or continued life? Were angels not with them? Were they abandoned and unfavored by God? Did He just not love them as much as others? Or is God just not always good? I’m bothered by those phrases because what it implies goes against the truths of God.
The reality is, through the good and the bad, God does not play favorites. Through the good and the bad, the wanted and unwanted, through surviving or passing to the next phase, He does not turn His back, nor does He close His eyes, neglect, or abandoned.
The reality is, the biggest miracle we are trying to attain is not prevention. If we were working towards prevention, then Christ would have come when he heard Lazarus was sick because He had the ability to heal him, instead of consciously waiting and not going to him and allowing him to die.
If it were about avoidance and prevention then the bigger miracle would have never happened, raising from the dead. A miracle so big, that all the chief priests and the Pharisees held a council and said, “What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” A miracle so big, they knew in time, none could not believe in Christ.
If it were about avoidance and prevention, then what of Christ’s life and sacrifice? Was His life of being mocked and spit on and falsely judged and murdered, was it because angels were not there? Was it because God was not mindful of Him? Was it because God is not always good?
Perhaps one of my favorites verses for perspective is God Himself being referenced, “it pleased the Lord to bruise Him.”
Why? Because there was, in fact, something so much more to come.
So, what if we got it all backwards? What if every step is the miracle?
Like Christ sleeping on the boat, it was not because he was not mindful or that he didn’t care, but because He, too, knew all will be well, regardless. Because He knew that God isthere. He is in charge, He is leading, and He is perfect.
God is good even during the unwanted. He is good even during the passing time and passing opportunities. God is good because regardless of our narrow-mindedness and personal pursuits, He keeps His promises. He is good both in continued life and in passing. He is good because He is aware, He is conscious, He is actively a part of every detail of our spirits. And He does not play favorites, we are His, always in His care.
God is good because we are a part of something so much bigger than what our limited desires can protest, because we are part of something so much bigger than what’s here. Not abandoning or overlooking, but intricatelyand profoundly involved in bringing us to what’s next. Perhaps to something bigger, that like the Pharisees, will leave us no room to not believe. And know. God is good even when our situation is not, because He knows something we don’t. Because there is, in fact, something so much more to come. Something greater.
Carest Thou Not That I’m Struggling?!
When God’s Not There
When Things Get Worse
When Things Are Dark & Undesired
Are We the Exception to Relief or Blessings?
When You Feel Alone
Our Unwanted & Unexpected
Fireside CD: Choosing God in Hard Times
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