I watched God is Not Dead with my gang yesterday and this was a phrase that was woven throughout the movie.
God is good. All the time… All the time. God is good.
There have been so many times over the last few years that I began to wonder…
I don’t know, Lord. You don’t look like a good God to me.
I don’t see, by any stretch of the imagination, how following you right now looks good. I don’t get you. I was so willing to sing your praises and point back to you as the one who saved me, as the one who answered my prayers, and yet it seems that I am worse off- way worse off. I have heard of your goodness. I have seen it for others, but to be honest, God, right now it’s been way too long with too little goodness,
and I’m starting… to doubt… that is really what you are like.
This is hard to understand unless you have been through a long- like, it’s never going to happen kind of long-season of not feeling his hand upon you. Oh you can point to what you are thankful for and see prayers of others answered, but sometimes you can get to a point where you begin to ask, What now? What now, God? I know how I should be feeling. I know how I should be acting- acting that even when I can’t see it, you are good. That even when I struggle and feel beyond my breaking point I should be point to you, but I’m tired and I am loosing hope of you ever arriving on the scene with that kind of goodness.
And I had to get to a point of wrestling this through. Through divorce, hospital visits, being single, taking care of kids, Bob… oh Bob. You see what I discovered was that I equated God’s goodness with ease. My kids following the Lord. Financially stable. Married and cared for. Healthy. If I had all of those things, then my God was good.
And when most of those were stripped away and I was left without; without these pillars holding me up, I was left speechless.
I had absolutely… nothing… to say.
I was faced with his words, gently, but direct; How would you describe Me now, Alisa? What would you say, dear one?
Silence. I don’t know, Lord. I am too disappointed to speak. I am too let down to say anymore. I have nothing to say to you.
Oddly enough, he seemed okay with that, actually closer because I was finally being honest about where I was at.
I while I was able to move through this season (more to share on that), I reflected on this somber time with the Lord last night, and I became keenly aware of a detail I hadn’t seen before.
You see, dear sisters, I may have been unable to sing his praises in that moment. I may have been too hurt for words. I may have stumbled in my actions, but I did not turn my back on him. I faced him.
I stayed. I stayed near Him. I stayed with Him.
And when I had my moments, you know, those moments that we begin to beat ourselves up. I should have behaved more “christian-like” at times. No big smile. No great example.But this time was different. I I fought back, speaking up for myself; No, you stayed. You were hurt, but you did not turn your back on Him.
Dear sisters, sometimes in our times of hurt, feeling so let down, we have nothing to say or we walk way from Him. We tell ourselves he cannot be trusted and that He, surely, cannot be a good and loving God and I am reminded of what I have read about Him and the one sheep. The one He goes in search of. The one that He is so crazy about that He keeps pursuing. The one that He won’t let go of- no matter what has happened- no matter what has taken place. Even when the little one wishes she were left alone, He won’t do that to her. He won’t, because He loves that little one and love never leaves. Love never abandons. No. Not his love. Not his love for this little one.
Dear sisters, come. Come. Just sit with him. Be near him. Let your tears fall. Let them. It is time to come.