As I write this, I am reflecting on the last week of lent and the passion week and I can’t help but be in wonder and awe at the Goodness of God’s plan. During times when I might doubt God’s goodness and sovereignty, I need to remind myself, that God has always come through for me. Even when it has been hard for me to see God’s plan at the time, God’s plan has always worked out better than I could ever have imagined.
Most of us have probably heard the cliché church phrase “God is good, all the time” to which another responds “All the time, God is good”. Looking back in my life, I am truly able to say that I am grateful for some things that have happened in my life, bumps in the road, twists and turns that I would never have seen on the map. Even though they were not what I expected or even wanted at the time. Now I am able to look back at the goodness of God, but can I truly speak of God’s goodness, even before I see how things turn out?
Our lives and our world are messy. There’s a lot of sadness, brokenness and pain, and it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by this. There are countless stories in the Old Testament that illustrate this and remind us that God’s plans take time. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, waiting to enter into the Promised Land. Abraham and Sarah waiting for God to fulfill the promise that they would have more descendants than the stars in the sky. And nearly 400 years of waiting for the messiah that they were promised as proof of God’s goodness and plan of hope and life for them
And then the messiah arrived, giving us the ultimate example of God’s goodness and love for us, and he was called Jesus! And he grew up, and became a teacher, and spread God’s message to everyone who would listen, and things looked brighter, and hopeful again. And then the unthinkable happened and life and the world got messy again. God’s plan took a twist once again and got messy. God’s son, this man who was so well-loved by many, was not loved by all and God’s goodness was again put into question when his son was to be sacrificed on a cross.
God intended for good to overcome the sadness and darkness of our world. For goodness to bring hope, and peace. We know from scripture that even though Jesus was willing to sacrifice his own life for us, he struggled with God’s goodness and prayed in Gethsemane “My father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” (Matthew 26:42), and again later on the cross he cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And yet, he followed God’s plan for ultimate redemption; giving his life, for ours.
I think it is only natural to wonder and question what is going on in our lives, and even experience some doubts. But more importantly we need to remember that in the darkest moments of our lives, the goodness of God can and will shine through if we are looking for it. The darkest of nights will always give way to the rising sun. The darkness and stench of Good Fridays grisly picture is turned on its head and gives way to the light and life of Resurrection Sunday. Always. God’s goodness always comes through for us; we only need to turn our eyes towards God.