Tuesday Tidbits for Parents: June 23, 2020
This week I felt led to share something I wrote up 3 years ago -- 9 months after I lost my daughter (and a snippet from a post 12 months after I lost her.) When I wrote it, I was in the throes of the grief journey. My hope as you read it is that 1) you will be reminded of God’s goodness, in the midst of whatever situations you find yourself in this week, and 2) you will teach your kids the same truth below as you walk with them through the mountains, plains, and valleys of life.
- #Blessed, in the best of times and the worst of times.
- God is good, even when our circumstances are not.
- Challenge: Talk to your kids about how you have experienced God's goodness in the midst of a difficult situation in the past. Emphasize the blessing of God's presence in all circumstances, His unchanging character (faithfulness, love, etc.), the help and comfort, and the eternal hope that we have in Him.
We tend to say "God is good," only when we receive some sort of tangible blessing or when we get what we want. But that is so very misleading. God's goodness is not dependent upon our perception of the things He gives. He is good even when we don't like what He gives, when we are hurting, when someone "less deserving" gets what we hoped and prayed for, etc.
I've found that in the midst of life's greatest storms, when my circumstances beg me to question God's goodness, in His enduring and abiding love, He gives me a new pair of eyes to see that nothing about His character has changed. He gives me vision to see into the thick, choking fog; to see that even there, He is with me, even there, He is working things together for my good. The past year has taught me that my former definition of good (as it relates to God's goodness) was so very small and limited, to my own detriment.
I find it very difficult to put into words all that He has done through pain worse than I ever could have imagined. [The best way I can describe it is to share a quote from another post I wrote a few months later.]
I find that my pain has made me more thankful. Not just for tangible things, like family, but for God, Himself. For His unchanging character. For His faithfulness. For His love that is so much bigger than my doubt, my unfaithfulness, my sin. For the fact that He loves me because of who He is and not because of who I am or what I have done. That He is a Friend and Father who can sympathize with my pain, with the loss of a child...That He offers to take my heavy burden and place it on His able shoulders (Matthew 11:29-30). That when my heart is overwhelmed, He leads me to Rock that is higher than I-- Himself (Psalm 61:2). And finally, that He has lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire, and has set my feet on the solid rock of my refuge and strength, Jesus, steadying me as I walk along (Psalm 40:2).
My faith is stronger than it has ever been. I have come to cherish my God more through the storm, than when the waters were calm and still. Sometimes the boat still rocks violently and all of the fears and pain come tumbling in like waves. But my heart has an Anchor, Christ, who keeps me from capsizing.
What the enemy of my soul intended for evil, God intended for good. Certainly not in the ways I had hoped or planned, but I simply cannot deny this truth.
God's goodness is continually revealed in a plethora of ways. Many that don't initially (or ever) appear to our finite minds to be goodness as we understand it. It is good and right to celebrate His clear, material gifts/blessings, but let us not trivialize His goodness by preaching that the two are one and the same.
If you are celebrating on a mountaintop right now, know that you are in a place of blessing. If you are in the midst of a storm, know that you, too, are in a place of blessing because God is with you, for you, and can NEVER stop being good. You might not be able to see it right now, but you can ask Him to give you the eyes to see. And don't quit asking until you can say that you were blind to it, but now you see. And even after you begin to see, continue to ask, so as to keep your eyes from becoming foggy again.