Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The way of God --- is always good...

When the sun comes up in the morning --- and darkness fades away --- we know --- God is good.

When rain falls steady ---- on dry, thirsty ground --- we know --- God is good.

When baby lays sleeping ---- after filling its stomach with mother's best --- we know --- God is good.

When tiny birds fly ---- after weeks in the cramped nest --- we know --- God is good.

When fever breaks ---- after hours of care --- we know --- God is good.

When food is before us ---- quieting hunger pangs --- we know --- God is good.

but what about ----

when the baby cries of hunger, the rain doesn't come, the fever doesn't break, the baby bird is found by a snake before its wings are strong enough to fly, or the circumstances of life cause even the sunrise to fade in our perception?

Is God still good?

Can we really still trust Him?

Can we believe the words in Deuteronomy and 1 Kings and Joshua and Hebrews? The words that say - God will never leave us?
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

When it doesn't "feel" like God is with us --- when the circumstances "look" as if He has left us --- when we feel abandoned --- what is the truth then? Is He gone? or did He change His mind on that whole "grace thing" because He chose to no longer overlook my unworthiness.
In those moments of "despair" --- do we cave into the fear that --- He too has walked away and has chosen to invest His grace and blessings elsewhere?

 After all --- others we may have displeased have walked away. We know the sting of abandonment. Why wouldn't God do the same. Surely His demands are proportionate to His greatness -- HE is GOD --- right?
And in the madness of "feeling" rejected by the Creator ---- we become unable to "hear" His Words, to "see" Him,  to rest in Him, to move forward.  
All that scriptural business of ---- "in my weakness HE is strong" and "My grace is sufficient" --- that may apply to others and it may work out for them --- but i know this person inside me -- and if God is as wise as they say He is --- then He will be smart enough to see the bad investment i would be --- and He too --- will walk away --- right?

Obviously --- that's exactly what He has chosen to do --- just look at my life. Look at my situation. Look at where "trusting God" has gotten me. 

The voice of doubt ----- it can seem to have a compelling opening statement, moving key witnesses, and a closing argument that nails the coffin shut. He can be quite convincing ----- after all ---- sometimes life's circumstances don't line up with the whole "God is good" theory.


Years ago i read a short story by an unknown author. It was life altering for me --- sincerely --- not being dramatic there ---- life altering.
Here it is for you now:

Two Traveling Angels
Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.
When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."
The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest.
When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.
The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel, "How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die."
"Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he couldn't find it."
"Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. 
Things aren't always what they seem." 

Truth --- 
no matter what we are facing --- 
no matter who is or is not standing beside us ---
no matter how our circumstances "look" ----- 
God is always good.

No matter if we live with plenty or if we live with little ---- God is good --- and He loves us deeply.
No matter if we are healthy and whole or sick and weak --- God is good --- and He loves us deeply.
No matter if life looks exactly as we had hoped it would or if it looks nothing like what we dreamed of --- God is still good ---- and He loves us deeply.
No matter if we are surrounded by those we love --- or we find ourselves alone --- God is good ---- and He loves us deeply.

This morning --- my twenty four year old treasure --- pulled out of the driveway --- the horizon of his future set on his GPS --- headed to Virginia - to study and grow and become --- with His Father.

May he always remember - may it be ingrained in his heart and mind and set in his soul ---- that God is good and loves him deeply ----
not because of what he will do ---
not because of who he pleases ---
not because of what others say or think ---
not because of success ---
not in relation to anything seen or felt or said or done in this realm ----

but -- God is good ---- His plans for us are good ---- even if/when things don't seem that way.

Things aren't always what they seem.
But God is ALWAYS good.
Things aren't always what they seem.
But God is ALWAYS good.
Things aren't always what they seem.
But God is ALWAYS good.


"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

"But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

"Teach me your way, LORD;
   lead me in a straight path
   because of my oppressors."Psalm 27:11 (NIV)

"Point me down your highway, God;
      direct me along a well-lighted street;
      show my enemies whose side you're on." Psalm 27:11 (Message)

"I remain confident of this:
   I will see the goodness of the LORD
   in the land of the living.
 Wait for the LORD;
   be strong and take heart
   and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV)

"I'm sure now I'll see God's goodness
      in the exuberant earth.
   Stay with God!
      Take heart. Don't quit.
   I'll say it again:
      Stay with God." Psalm 27:13-14 (Message)

Photos taken by Maggie and me at Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Yellowstone

©2011 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe

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