For months I’ve been wanting to go but our schedule has not worked. But last night I got to go for the first time to an awesome study group at church. It is a women’s group that is studying the Fruit of the Spirit. Each month they focus on one specific attribute from Galatians 5. Last night: Goodness.
I had to smile. Have you noticed that the Goodness of God has been a theme in my life lately? Or I should say, doubting the goodness of God … urgh.
Last night an awesome woman shared about her journey in doubting but clinging to the goodness of God. In the past few months her family has had three loved ones and a beloved dog die. She shared about her grieving and her sorrow and the goodness of God amidst it all. It is IN her grief that she is experiencing the goodness of God. Not merely to deal with the grief… but actually to be nourished by the grief.
Totally paralleled the words I have been reading in “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp: “Would I really choose the manna?”
When faced with hard times, do I accept what God is handing to me? Do I take it, choose it, eat it and let it nourish me? Or do I get stuck, questioning its goodness? Questioning God’s goodness?
Last night we asked, “What is goodness?”
Goodness is really hard to define. The greek root of the word translated to “goodness” in Galatians 5 means: “good.” I think most humans would like it to mean “no pain.”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines goodness as:
– the quality or state of being good
– the nutritious, flavorful, or beneficial part of something
LOVE that second definition: “the nutritious, flavorful, or beneficial part of something.”
God does bring goodness into my life. Nutrition. Flavor. Benefit.
There is a part of pain that is good. A part of grief that is good. A part of each day that is good. God’s goodness is the nutritious, flavorful, beneficial part of everything I am walking through.
God’s goodness is present. In my life. In my days. In my moments. I taste it. I see it. God is good. (Psalm 34:8)
Today I’m anticipating nutrition. I want to be ready and willing to pick up the Manna and devour it. And trust that God is writing my story with goodness and love as His guide. The overflow of who He is.
The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
I don’t want to waste anymore of my life doubting the goodness of God. Let’s carve it in stone. Let’s write it in permanent marker. Let’s set up a standing stone to remember. God is good and His goodness and unfailing love never fail.
How are you? What themes are you seeing God speak to you about lately?
Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 92, 93; Acts 4:1-37