You’ve heard it before: an enthusiastic proclamation out of the mouth of (I can only assume) a Christian — “God is good!”
For a long time, this phrase made me mad. It seemed so cliché. Or lighthearted. When I heard it, I would think “Well, of course God is good, but the situation you’re talking about was one of human merit not of God’s doing.”
Or how about when you hear “God is good” out of the mouth of someone who seems to have had a fairly easy life. Steady family, plenty of money, lucky in love and life. Never lost a job. Praised for little things accomplished in life. Always had what was needed growing up. Never battled death, chronic disease, depression, or abuse.
And like a cynic you ask yourself, “What would that guy say if his life was rocked like so many lives have been? Would he still say that ‘God is good’?”
And for that matter, how many times have I said “God is so good,” and someone around me was probably thinking the same thing about me?
But what if when we say God is good, we don’t mean good like everything is alright? What if we say God is good, not because things are going our way but because we realize He is bigger than our circumstances, and when we say good we are actually just relieved that we are not alone in our struggle?
When you see a cancer victim tell us “God is good,” doesn’t it make you insanely curious? It should. Because it’s obvious they are not saying that everything is ok. They are saying something so powerful, so deep that I am desperate to understand what they understand about life and God and the future.
So in the best effort I can give, here’s what I think we mean when we utter “God is good.”
GOOD – Like when you hear a song whose melody pulls on your heart and you are suddenly moved, listening closer to realize that the lyrics line up with your conversations with your Creator and you think “How did He know I needed to hear that just now?” And as tears of being touched well up, you say God you are so good!
GOOD – Like the moment you give it up to HIM and you feel a gentle nudge to just take a deep breath and take the only step you can see in front of you, be it little, and you don’t have to worry about the rest. He’s got you! And He’s so good.
GOOD – Like when you’re facedown in your tears and sadness and your unrequited notions of life and suddenly it dawns what sorrow makes possible and you can see the hands of God at work and you have no words but a slow sigh whispering God is so good.
GOOD – Like when you realize that all your plans have imploded and when the dust settles you smirk with deep relief that HE had different plans and it turns out His were better than you could ever imagine. And the single thought of being known better than you know yourself says God is so good.
GOOD – Like the moment you understand a gift that leaves you forever indebted thinking “I could never deserve this” but you’ve gained it anyway though you could never repay it. And grace is no longer a word in the Bible but a way of life because God is so good.
GOOD – Like when you look over your shoulder and peer back at the stormy valley you’ve just come through and it appears that you’re still in one piece. That you’ve conquered your demons and that there was never a reason to doubt the bigness of your God and just how good He is.
GOOD – Like when you think back on your most perfect moments and a flood of warmth and radiant love bombards your heart. And in that moment you realize that everyone of these moments is attributed to your Creator and that He’s the best artist you’ve ever known. He’s that good.
GOOD – Like the moment you look your greatest fear in the eye, knees shaking, voice trembling, all while this security emerges that with God you can handle it. And in your retelling of this courageous moment, you smile and exclaim God is good.
Do you need help understanding the goodness of God in your life right now? Will you share with me?