Sunday, January 13, 2013

{is God still good?}

yowzer wowzer people.
it's been a looong, rough couple of years.
yes. yes it has.
there have been a variety of circumstances flow into my life and into the lives of those around me that has caused me to pause and ponder,
{is God still good?}
i think it is a question that a lot of us ask from time to time.
of course we think God is good when our circumstances are good.
but I am talking about the really hard circumstances.
when your marriage is in shambles, is God still good?
when you miscarry, is God still good?
when your husband looses a job, is God still good?
when you foreclose on your home because you just can't make ends meet, is God still good?
when you are as patiently as possible waiting for that adoption to go through, is God still good?
when you find out the one you shared vow's with has been having an affair, is God still good?
when you wait another month to see that little pink line show up on a pregnancy test, is God still good?
when death takes away someone dear to you, is God still good?
when cancer devastates your family, is God still good?
when you've waited and endured 9 months of labor and your child arrives still born, is God still good?
when there are people starving in this world, is God still good?
when you wait another long year, and you are still not married and you so long to be, is God still good?
i could go on and on, and unfortunately have witnessed or lived out many these circumstances all within recent years. 
and it's crazy rough.
there have been a number of times, when i have wept, expressed anger, fear, frustration and numerous other emotions towards God and asked Him, "where is Your good in this?"  "how can this be made right?"
i haven't known how to answer those questions on my own.

but, i have been consoled by scriptures bountifully.

John 13:7-  You do not realize now, what i am doing, but later you will understand.
Romans 5:8- I loved you at your darkest hour.
Isaiah 42:9- Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things i now declare.
Genesis 16:13- You are the God who see's me.
Romans 12:12-  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

my sister posted a blog in the early stages of my nieces cancer treatment that had this song.
if you are willing, will you take a moment to listen.
really listen to this song.  feel her emotions. engage with them.
it feels conflicting, doesn't it?  she clearly doesn't feel joyful.
here's what she wrote regarding why she sung this classic, joyful hymn with such emotion:

"It was not until grief became a part of my story that i realized that joy is not simply an expression, but an attitude and acknowledgement of the deep peace of knowing a Savior...
...i now know that you can experience grief and joy simultaneously ..and if not, that joy can and will come if you allow it."

this song nearly brings me to my knees each time i listen to it, and it most assuredly stings my eyes with tears every time.

in that question, during the deepest darkest grief we could every imagine, when we are begging the question,
"God, are you still good?"

well, i don't know about you, but these words repeat in my soul,
"And I can't understand
and i can't pretent
that this will be alright in the end
so i'll try my best
and lift up my chest
and sing about this
joy, joy, joy!

i leave you with this, friends.
count it joy when you meet trials, because it produces steadfastness.  and let that steadfastness have it's full effect, that you may be prefect and complete.
there is joy in trials.  you may have to search for it, but it is there.
and God ever remains good.

James 1:2-4 -  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.  For you know that, the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have it's full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

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