Before There Was Good
For nearly 3 hours, while winding through endless narrow dusty roads toward a small village of mud huts and thatched roofs, the short Catholic nun beside me kept smiling and repeating, “God is so good.”
When the clouds blocked the scorching sun with its 110 degree heat, she said, “God is so good to give us clouds.” When the sun shined brightly over streets lined with tin shacks…”God is so good.” She had learned the profound lesson of God’s goodness both preceding and eclipsing human situations. Nearly every Sunday, we make the bold confession, “God is good…all the time.” However, recently I had to make a confession. I find myself often saying, “God you’re good.” No harm right? Well, the issue is I instinctively say it after some little desire or prayer is granted in the manner I had hoped. I found my other sock. “God You’re good.” The car started after the lights were on all night. “God You’re good.” That officer didn’t stop me when I sped by. “God You’re good.” It’s been almost as instinctive as an “Ouch” when someone hits their thumb with a hammer. All fitting and right, but there’s another side.
The other night I stood at my front door, locked out…again. (Weekly event for me) I had just gotten off the plane from a long weekend, didn’t have a spare key, and my neighbor was asleep. Not a happy camper at that point. Grumbling to myself, I rummaged through my bag, and found a lone key sitting at the bottom. It couldn’t be. I tried it in the door…and it worked! I took one step inside, and out it came, “God You’re good!” Oh the difference one step can make. Right?
The fact is, God was good on the outside of the locked door AND the inside of the open door. He was good when the key was lost. He was good when the car wouldn’t start, and when the checking account is in the red. He was good last week, singing for a massive crowd of mostly Hindus under Delhi’s famed India Gates, and He’s good this week singing “Jesus Loves You,” over my sister Fran as she spends her last days in hospice. Paul, locked up in a Roman prison cell, encourages us, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” In a prison of your own today? Rejoice, God is good! My friend, whether it’s sunny or overcast, calm seas or angry waters, God is good. Let’s Praise Him on this side of the locked door…this side of the unanswered prayer…whether or not we find the second sock.
“Count it ALL joy.” James 1:2 “In everything give thanks.” 1 Thess. 5:18 “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Philippians 4:4