Written By: Kensie Story
What is good?
I found myself asking this question after going through a season of struggle. The end of my second pregnancy was difficult, to say the least. The toll it was taking on my physical body turned into a steep tax on my mind.
All my previous dealings with anxiety and depression came rushing back like a child running to its mother after being lost in a large grocery store. That’s what happens when our bodies have been worn down, our minds wear down too.
I was hardly eating. I couldn’t get out of bed for more than an hour without crying and crawling back into bed.
Regular responsibilities like laundry or dishes were put on the back burner. My husband was taking off work to care for our son because I couldn’t anymore.
I called out to God, day after day, pleading and begging Him to take it all away. Give me peace Lord! Give me rest! Please, Lord! Let this be over! Hear my cry and answer me!
Silence. Nothing. Nada.
That was the worst part – the deafening silence while waiting for prayers to be answered.
“O my God, I cry all day and You are silent; my tears in the night bring no relief.” (Psalm 22:2, The Voice)
I imagine someone who’s been diagnosed with an illness could relate. Or someone whose marriage is falling apart. Or someone whose child keeps making the same bad decisions. Or someone who experiences the loss of a loved one.
We all reach these moments in life when the rug is pulled out from under us and we’re left crippled on the floor. We do the “Christian thing” and pray without ceasing, but for whatever reason God just doesn’t seem to answer.
Our faith is tested beyond measure. Our trust in God starts to crumble. We know that the Bible says God is good, but what is good?
What is good when God doesn’t heal us? What is good when God doesn’t take away the struggle or pain? What is good when we are knee-deep in bills or when our relationships are failing?
Not our circumstances. Not our understanding. Not our feelings.
He is the original blueprint we should be going back to – fixing our eyes on Him, trusting His plan and timing, and believing that He is good regardless of what we see.
“For we live by believing and not by seeing.” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT)
My husband and I tried to complete one of those thousand-piece puzzles once; we never finished it. It was hard enough as is, but imagine if we were one of the puzzle pieces on the table trying to put the entire puzzle together. Impossible right?
That’s how life is sometimes. We, the puzzle pieces, scrambling around trying to make sense of the world around us, using our dictionary definitions to try and understand our circumstances.
But God is the puzzle maker. He is the one who sees our lives, and the lives of those around us, from a higher viewing point. He is the one who has the top of the puzzle box with the picture on it. He knows what the end looks like.
Our understanding is so small compared to God’s and instead of trying to figure it all out, we have to trust that God is ultimately in control and has our best interest in mind.
“We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.” (Romans 8:28 The Voice)
I don’t have all the answers as to why God didn’t answer my prayer in my way and in my timing, but that’s ok because my definition of goodness doesn’t compare to the goodness that is God.
That’s the enemy’s greatest trick though. Trying to convince us that our understanding and point of view is the plumb line and that God doesn’t know what He is doing.
Satan will kill our joy, steal our peace, and destroy our faith when he gets us to believe his lies (see John 10:10). He’ll do anything to make us believe that God doesn’t love us, that God isn’t good, and that God doesn’t exist.
He’ll make us so fixated on our struggles that we become blind to the soft and gentle breeze of God around us.
The struggle is real, but so is God and God is always good.
We have to choose, daily, to walk in that truth. The truth that God is real. The truth that our seasons of struggle will be weaved into a purposeful plan. The truth that one day we will be in Heaven – no tears, no pain, no struggles – living in completely victory with Christ.
We have to choose to throw out the dictionary and forget what the world tells us is good and trust, instead, that whatever the good Lord allows is in fact good.
So, I’ll ask it again. What is good?
“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 38:4 NLT)