A few Sundays ago at church we talked about the concept of God being good. I sat through the service with my heart full of joy, having seen and received this goodness so many times in my own life.
Had I heard this sermon a year ago, almost a year ago exactly, tears of bitterness would have formed in my eyes and my heart would have been hard with anger and pain.
A year ago I would have screamed out in my mind “How can You be good, how can You be good when my life is characterized by fear and pain and depression.”
I would have asked “Where are You. Why have you left me here.”
I think a part of the grace we receive from our Father, who is indeed very good, is perspective.
My junior and sophomore years of college are so contrasted they are essentially night and day.
Every time I eat dinner with a group of friends and sit out under the sunshine in my hammock and laugh at a joke and write a poem that isn’t dark and sad I reflect on all times last year I ate alone and didn’t leave my room and couldn’t feel happiness so all I wrote about was gray.
The pivotal moment I ran back into God’s arms after stiff arming Him for months was a beautiful taste of His grace. The moment I realized the purpose behind my pain washed over my bitterness with peace and grace.
But as I sat in church nodding my head along with the assertions of God’s goodness was a moment of perspective overflowing and spilling over the sides with grace.
A year ago I could not sing the song “Good, Good Father.”
My mouth and heart could not stomach the words.
Now here I am, a year later, reveling in His goodness still because I was lost, and my being lost was a form of goodness I now know, but now I am found and as I look out at the expanse of the last year, how the colors changed from gray and black with death and storms to green and yellow and pink with growth and warmth and joy I can see so evidently the grace God has given me.
Though I left Him, though I abandoned Him, though I forgot to love Him, He never did, and He never stopped drawing me in.
I believe I heard this sermon at a time this year where last year at this same time I would not have believed it because the perspective that dawned on me made me realize even more how very good our Father is.
It is easy to read about God’s goodness and hear someone speak about it, and even say it yourself, but experiencing it in such a tangible way, in being able to sit in the same seats I sat in when singing that God is good made me cry, and then hearing about God’s goodness a year later and having my heart fill up with peace was almost like something I could grab onto and hold and roll around in my hands.
Friends, He is good. Even when life is not good, He is eternally good.
You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.