I’ve been pondering this title for awhile now. It’s something I can’t get away from. I even googled it, with some hesitation, there is so much written about the goodness of God that I figured I’d be wading through tombs of material. Good thing I have a finely honed error detector, I was able to zero in on exactly what I needed to read. But even then it left me a little dry and empty.
After walking through some Scripture, looking for various ways God is good I landed on Genesis and the creation story. Every detail of it ends with “And God saw that it was good”. So the physical world is good, until Adam messed it up…but it is being and will ultimately be fully redeemed. In the meantime we see amazing glimpses of the creation Adam lived with.
Another Scripture says “Taste and see that the Lord is good” and yes, we can experience him (though not by actually tasting him unless you believe that good food is “Of God”, which some days it very well might be) and by even the smallest experience with him we learn that he is good.
Claiming that God is good always brings the “But what about???” questions. If God is good, why does suffering, war, murder, global warming, democrats and republicans exist…??? All legitimate questions. But not what I wanted to write about. Others have written it better and more completely than I and any are more worthy to read than me.
What I wanted to write about was how good he really is. That his goodness reaches so far above our comprehension that we can’t even begin to imagine all the ways he is good. I picture him on his throne with a bag (a tad like Santa’s but studded with gemstones) and he reaches into this bag and pulls out a gift for any who ask, just when they need it most. It might be a solution to a work problem, healing for a disease, peace for contentious times, money for food, cars, housing and clothes, the return of a prodigal child… Our need lists are endless.
Needs drive our prayers don’t they? If we didn’t reach out when we needed him how would we know he answers? The call and response of need to God is age old. Our fathers of the faith led the way in showing us how to turn to God. Their obedience brought us Jesus and his obedience made the way for our ability to ask and be heard. To ask in Jesus’ name is a privilege too great to comprehend – yet we have it.
Scripture is littered with phrases such as “my/his/your goodness”; “for the sake of his goodness”; “full of goodness”; “your/his great goodness”. And yes, factually we know that God is good – even when it doesn’t feel like he is. We sing it, declare it, recite it at dinner and proclaim it to our sisters and brothers in the faith. It’s something that we almost take for granted, become sort of accustomed to and loose sight of when our hearts should be full of his great goodness.
I was challenged to think about this in a way that I’d not thought of before. The actual “HOW” of God’s goodness. That’s when my brain came up with the Santa bag at the throne picture and I realized that God’s goodness had even yet to be revealed to me in ways I can’t begin to comprehend. When I take my needs to him my imagination already has an answer in place. It has prescribed what I think will be a good answer to my need. But that big jeweled bag keeps making an appearance and I realize that God has a good present to bestow that I haven’t thought of. With gifts, timing is everything isn’t it?
Thinking back on this year I couldn’t have imagined it…
The events of the year, the people we’ve begun to know, the enormous amounts of grace experienced, even the trials and their answers have been beyond my comprehension.
They are a gift, all from the hand of a loving and very good God
God spoke to us when our girls were young, about who gives good gifts at Christmas. Was it grandma or was it mom and dad? If the image we wanted for our children was to equate good gifts with their heavenly father then they needed to know that their earthly one gave better gifts than grandma. It’s hard to not let a grandma “spoil” a grandchild, but in our spiritual economy we asked her to take a step back and let us be the primary gift givers to our children. We’ve never been sorry.
But this season I’m reminded that I am still His child. He still gives me good gifts, and He has so many more in that jeweled bag I’ll never see the end of them. His goodness is so great my imagination isn’t big enough to comprehend it. His gifts fit my person exactly right, tailor made for me from a place of eternity. They are creative and perfect, surprising me when I’m not looking. They bring me a sense of purpose, a completeness and wholeness I haven’t previously known. A joy unspeakable.
Simple, Satisfying and Sustaining
As 2017 closes and 2018 begins I pray that you look for those gifts from God’s big jeweled bag. The ones that come perfectly from His throne, that hold eternity and bring joy. Allow His imagination to fulfill your deepest longings.
He doesn’t disappoint!