[Trigger Warning: brief mention of sexual abuse]
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of God in the land of the living.” – Psalm 27:12
Early on in my relationship with God, I nailed down a deep belief that He is good. Based on a study of the scriptures, I affirmed goodness as one of many the core aspects of His nature. I have clung to that belief through the years though it has been sorely tested many times. It was tested when my beloved mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 40 and as I watched her suffer and declined over 26 years with debilitating side effects of the tumor and numerous surgeries. It was sorely tested as a history of sexual abuse and trauma at the hands of a family member during my childhood came to light and I stepped away from my ministry to embrace healing and lost my family in the process.
Psalm 27 became an anchor in the storm for me during these times and specifically verse 12. David wrote Psalm 27 during the years following his anointing as future king and while he was hiding from Saul. David knew pain, suffering, persecution and his fair share of very difficult circumstances and he too clung to deep belief in the goodness of God and the hope that he would see that goodness manifested during his lifetime. That belief and hope is what sustained him.
We are all living currently living through a very challenging time with the coronavirus. Perhaps, you are also facing other difficulties in the midst of this pandemic. As we face global and personal trials, it is easy to doubt and/or forget the goodness of God. I want to invite you to return to a deep centered belief that we have a Father who is very, very good. A Father who is actively at work in the world bringing forth good. A Father who is committed to redeeming and working all things together for our good (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8: 28). Our Father, also, invites us to participate with Him in the manifestation of good in our world. Richard Rhor, a Franciscan theologian, has beautiful said that “Our job as conscious human beings is to bring the beauty and goodness of God…of everything…to full consciousness, to full delight, to full awareness.”
The goodness of God shows up everywhere through the kindness of others, through us and our love, kindness and grace offered to others, through the beauty of nature, etc.. Do you eagerly anticipate His goodness in your life and in the world around you? Are you intentionally on the lookout for his goodness? Are you consciously committed to bringing forth His beauty and goodness in the world?
Father, in the midst of the dark, ugly, painful things of this world, open our eyes to your goodness and beauty. Father, use us to bring forth and shower your goodness to a world in need all around us. Father, sustain us with hope in your goodness now and to come.