The Goodness of God

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.


Worry or Trust


This week I spent some time reflecting on Lent and what I wanted to give up. I didn’t feel like I wanted to give up chocolate or coffee this year, but rather wanted to change a thought pattern that I have. How could this be a meaningful process that I could fully engage in?

As I was praying about it on Wednesday morning, I sensed God saying, “Why not give up worry? Why not practice trading your worries for your trust?” and I replied, “hmm… why not?” So I did.

It turned out that I had an opportunity to practice that almost right away. (I love how God does things like that, to remind us of the deal we just made!) Earlier that morning I had been woken up by Jeremy shaking me out of a deep cozy sleep saying, “Were you wanting to get up now? Because your alarm is ringing in the living room…” Right. That should have been my first heads up about the kind of day it would be, and that maybe staying in bed would be the better option. About five minutes after that, Jeremy left for work only to come back into the house a minute later to announce, “The car won’t start.” We agreed that I would call CAA and get them to come and boost it, and then all should be fine.

I reminded myself to trust God with this issue. I decided instead to put my thoughts and energy into completing a work presentation I was doing for the next day. Not worrying about what it would take to get the car going, what the cost would be, or if Jeremy would be upset with me about. And with that trust, I was given peace and was able to concentrate really well on my tasks at hand. The presentation came together fantastically, and I felt quite good about it.

Later in the day after consultation with my neighbor (who dropped what he was doing just to look at my car), the tow truck driver and the handy mechanics at Canadian Tire, it became apparent that the issue was the starter (read: pricey fix) and it was due to something I had done while driving earlier in the week. Enter in the guilt, self-loathing, and regret. It was hard to give myself grace on this one and let it go. How could I choose not to worry, but trust instead?

I decided to look for all the things I was grateful for. Allowing the rays of sunshine to push through the dark storm clouds all around me. Before I knew it, my list was getting quite long. I was grateful for not being stranded when my car stopped working. I was grateful for our neighbor who was willing to help me and a meeting that was cancelled which gave me time to deal with all the car issues. Most of all, I was grateful for my husband who not only wasn’t angry with me, but had brought me some chocolate home from work as a special treat!

When I looked back at the end of the day, I realized, how much easier it was to go through all of the car drama without worrying. Either way it would have ended the same; the car would need to get fixed, which happened by the end of the day. In fact, practicing gratitude and the act of trust I experienced encouraged Jeremy and brought light and meaning into his day as well.

When we choose to worry about things we end up taking precious energy that we could use for something more beneficial (like my project) and only manage to stress ourselves out more. I guess Jesus knew what he was talking about when he tells us not to worry!

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:31-34 (NLT)

What do you find yourself worrying about needlessly? What has been an effective way for you to stop the cycle of worry, and begin to trust? How are ways you can practice gratitude or trust instead of worrying?