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Monday, May 5, 2014

Is God Good?

  Is God good? I think many of us ask ourselves this question. Sometimes, the "yes" is emphatic - we see His goodness overflowing in the world around us...and we want to thank - to acknowledge - Him. But, other times, the question weighs heavy. The "yes" turns to doubt. Is He really good? How? How is He good when your spouse walks away? How is He good when your loved one takes their precious life and ends it? How is He good when the baby you've long prayed for dies before it ever took its first breath? Where is the loving Savior in all this? How can He give when loss seems to be the only thing coming from His hands? We think Him to be cruel. We feel He is cold-hearted. Can there still be Grace?

  I stare at the sunset as the giant ball of fire-light slips behind the horizon. Orange and blue colors run together, illuminating the tiny mountain peaks in the distance. As I watch, the thought comes to me: this same cycle will begin again tomorrow. The sun will rise once more come morning. As darkness settles on the earth, there is hope about to start afresh. And I sense the answer: noticing God's goodness is, perhaps, a matter of choice. I must decide to watch Him work. I must choose hope. In order to believe, I must take the steps toward faith and learn to trust in a goodness that, at times, appears absent. But, in reality, it is merely disguised. It never leaves. I may have to endure the lonely night, but the sun will rise. His goodness will be seen - always. I cannot fully live the "yes" - cannot embrace His favor - while denying its existence. Here is where the ugly is turned into beautiful: when I have every reason to turn away, to curse God and tell Him that His goodness has come up short but, instead, I choose to open - I choose Grace. I say, "He is good," even if everything around me says otherwise. Because, when I truly accept this truth, I can walk through the darkest of valleys and still be renewed. I can hope in the sunrise of tomorrow as it is setting today. My endings can be beginnings. 
  And so I welcome the blessing as I watch the shadows fall. Though the crumbled ruins lie in front of me, though the painful wounds run deep, I make the choice to answer my own question. Is God good? Yes, I breathe...all the time.