The Goodness of God
It’s been a while since I have word vomited on you guys! I hate that, I would love to sit down and write all day long, but you know, life.
My daughter and I were talking this evening about learning to hear God. I am so proud of her and her walk with the Lord! She said, “sometimes mom you just know because certain things come alive to you.” She’s right.
Have you ever had a conversation in your head while you’re lying in bed and then bam a deeper meaning hits you? When that happens to me, I like to write about it so I remember later!
Once a month at my church we have a food drive. I am ashamed to say I probably forget half of the time, but this week, while grocery shopping, I actually remembered and bought extra of a few things to donate. It occurred to me in the canned goods aisle of Walmart that what I was buying seemed very insignificant in the scheme of things, but I quickly felt a wave of thankfulness wash over me because I had the means to give, even if it was a little.
I am like most everyone else, I stress about finances. I complain when I don’t have as much money in the bank that I feel I should have. I lose sleep at night figuring out how I am going to come up with money for camps and sports for the kids. We always seem to swing it, but the prospect of not having enough is forever in the back of my mind.
And so tonight, as I was rehashing in my head my little experience in the grocery store, I instinctively thought, “God, you are so good.” Then bam it hit me. How quick I am to tell God he’s good simply because he was gracious enough to supply us jobs to put food on our table. But, let’s be honest here, whether I am the person donating the groceries or if I am the person needing the groceries, God is still good. No matter what my financial situation, God is good. No matter my health situation, God is good.
God is God and therefore he is just, gracious, sovereign, good, and merciful simply because he is God. I think the element of associating the goodness of God with tangible things is something us first world Christians have invented. Herein lies the problem of the “prosperity gospel”. We judge how good God is by what he has given to us, but in reality that is not where his majesty lies. By putting God in this type of a box we are limiting his endless power. Some of us have even come to believe that we can demand God to give us stuff. How many times have you ever heard a prosperity gospel minister say something to the effect of, “I command the sky not to rain today so our church BBQ isn’t ruined!”? Or the famous, “if you give your part, God will bless you so much your wallet won’t be able to hold all your hundreds!” But is this what God is really about?
What makes you think God has favored you over someone in a far away country living in a cardboard box? Who do you think you are to tell God he’s good just because you have food on your table?
Now, before you go and say, “but Jen, we should thank God for our material blessings!” Let me just stop you right there. Yes, we should always show gratitude for everything we have in life! We should tell God we are thankful for our blessings every chance we have! However, whether God chooses to bless me with stuff, or whether he doesn’t, he is still good. My situation is a “moo point” to quote Joey from Friends.
As Job said:
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord .”
Job 1:21 ESV