Reflections of Goodness

Have you ever felt God lead you to reflect on something? I’m more of a let’s keep things moving kinda gal, but when God shows me something, I long for the revelation. It means being still and quiet and allowing His Word and the Holy Spirit to speak to me.

My husband and I just finished a time of prayer and fasting. It was powerful for me. I tried to truly hear what God was speaking to me. He brought my attention to His goodness. I used to think that the word goodness is such a general word that doesn’t have a heavy meaning. Goodness meaning anything not bad. But it’s really so much more than that. It’s the opposite of evilness. The very summit of grace and mercy.

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you…      – Psalm 31:9

I spent some time looking back over the last 5 years. There were some really hard times. God, in His goodness, brought me through each one. Lessons of faith and trust. Being a minor (heh) control freak, trusting in what I couldn’t even see was and is one of the most difficult things that I am called to do.

There were many moments of wondering where God was within my circumstance. The pain, the tears, the anger. It was easy to find those things, but harder to find the good.

But as I look back now, all I can see is good.

I see Him.

When my husband confessed deception in our marriage, there was repentance and forgiveness. Goodness.

When I questioned my worth and wished that I didn’t exist, there was affirmation and love poured over me. Goodness.

When I was so deep into an eating disorder that my body almost couldn’t function, there was conviction of sin. Goodness.

When I was consumed with a lack of relationship with my father, there was a reminder of my eternal relationship with my heavenly Father. Goodness.

This list could go on. The Bible says in Romans 8:28 that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him. And for His goodness, I can’t help but love Him more.

It doesn’t make sense. I can’t understand it. The only thing that I do know is that He freely gives it when I don’t deserve it. And for that, I will praise Him.

Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness… -Psalm 107:31

When His Plan Is Different Than Ours

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I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago when I was having trouble dealing with some things that didn’t go the way I wanted them to go. Since I wrote this, a very dear friend of ours passed away. Him leaving this earth so early was not in anyone’s plan. It certainly was not in his precious wife and daughters’ plan. I could not have known this was going to happen and I find it so amazing that God put these words on my heart that day for such a time as this. Dear God, we know that you have reasons for things that are beyond our comprehension. Your foolishness is wiser than any human wisdom and your weakness is stronger than our human strength. Thank you for your peace, your joy in the midst of pain, and for surrounding those in need with comfort and love.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. – Roman 8:28

I slowly opened my sleep-filled eyes. I felt fully rested and I wondered how long until my alarm would blare its obnoxious tune at me. I decided to take a gander at the clock. Seven o’clock am on the dot. Wait. Seven o’clock? I get up at Six fifteen! NOOOOO! The bus had gone by five minutes ago, but I could still get my daughter to the school on time if I hurried.

Trying not to kick it into freak-out mode, I woke up my younger daughter who I’m pretty sure was in deep REM sleep because she wouldn’t move a muscle for the first five minutes of my attempts. I threw on my flip-flops (still in my pjs mind you), grabbed a couple of twinkies (for breakfast? yes, I’m a horrible mother), and loaded everyone up and headed for school. Not a single person’s hair in that car was brushed, let alone their teeth. Two of us were still in our pjs, breakfast was less than nutritional, and all of us were half asleep, but by golly my daughter was going to make it to school on time!

I couldn’t help but think that this is the way that my life always seems to go. I can make a perfectly laid out meal plan that we won’t stick to. We have a budget and then our van needs a major repair that wasn’t in said budget. I can make cornbread, but forget the baking powder and it’s now a corn cookie. 

We all have our plans don’t we? It surprises us when things happen differently than we planned. I planned for that alarm to go off and make sure that we were all ready for school. I was extremely surprised to wake up much later than I should have.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Sometimes the best thing we can do is give our plans to the Lord and trust that they will turn out the way He intends.

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it, and he will. – Psalm 37:5

In the end, God’s Will reigns supreme. He is in control even when we lose that control. It’s hard. It’s messy. Sometimes we white knuckle those plans in our fleshly attempts to regain the control from God. Learning to turn them over in the beginning makes dealing with the outcome so much easier. #preachingtomyself

Whatever we face, even in the change, we can take comfort knowing that our loving and sovereign God has the ultimate plan. And sometimes it may involve your cornbread being a rock-hard cookie instead.