“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”- Psalm 107:1
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”- Psalm 34:8
I am reflecting on God’s goodness this morning, as I have seen so much of it, so much of Him, in all things this week. As I process our time at the NIH, the same phrase keeps coming to mind: God wins. He wins in all things. He already has the victory. Glory be to God!
We experienced God’s goodness in so many ways this week: through the prayers, texts, calls, emails, and cards of friends. It’s not very often that you show up to a hotel and they hand you a package of mail, full of Scripture, encouraging words, and Starbucks’ cards. The girls traveled well, and outside of some major feeding troubles (which is an ongoing issue and not surprising) they handled each and every part of our journey with ease. The flights were quick and painless, and I don’t think an hour went by that we didn’t receive some kind of communication from our community saying, “We love you. God loves you. We are in this with you.” We felt unbelievably carried. We even had some precious friends give us a generous amount of money in order to let us have a nice dinner after some long doctor’s visits. My parents set up a driver to pick us up and drop us off to the airport; which made the transitions seamless. So much grace. I could go on and on, but really, it was all God’s children being His hands, His feet, and His heart in our family’s life. So undeserving. So humbling to be continually served during this new normal. In all this, we felt the Lord saying over and over again, “I love you. I am with you. You are not alone.”
The appointment in itself was long, detailed, emotionally draining, and intense. It was exactly what we needed, to be honest; and huge answer to prayer. The physician that led the team that saw us was the most intelligent man I have ever met (worldly speaking). Did we leave with an exact diagnosis? No. But, we left with detailed direction, specific panels run, and confident answers that the girls’ diagnosis is within a very rare realm of disorders that have to do with the connections between the nerves and the brain. Someone was finally able to tie the unique pieces of our girls’ development together, and I left feeling a wide array of emotions. Thankful, because I certainly want to know what is going on. Deeply grieving, because the closer we get to a diagnosis, the more I realize that life is going to look completely different than we anticipated. As I thought about this on the way home, however, my sadness turned quickly into joy. Here’s the thing: all of our lives end up looking different than we expected. For some of us, this happens as a small child. Others are thrown off guard later on. Either way, the same truth still stands: God’s plans are way better than the ones we made up in our heads.
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”- Psalm 27:13 (emphasis mine)
I am not sure I could word it any better than this verse does. Yes, this world is not our home. Yes, broken people in a broken world doesn’t always feel good; and we certainly are going to have times where our emotions just plain hurt. All of us. However, I believe no matter what our situation, we are assured that we do not have to despair because God’s goodness is as near, even nearer, than our own flesh. In all things. At all times. What joy this brings! It brings joy in the easy times and the hard. When the physician tells you that he doesn’t foresee your children walking or talking? God’s goodness in the land of the living. When the phrase, “potential life-threatening seizures” is mentioned? God’s goodness in the land of the living. No matter what your current reality is, God’s goodness is being lavished on you. Yes, even in that. The comparison game is pointless because for every person that has things easier than you, there will be someone who has it harder. But, comparison is equally as irrelevant when you know that there is a God in heaven handpicking, with perfect, intricate, precision, what He allows or doesn’t allow in each of our lives. What is best for me is not best for you, and vice versa; but we can be sure of one thing: His goodness is covering all things. What the enemy intends for evil, God intends for good and we can be sure if it’s there, He is going to use it for His glory.
God’s goodness is His continued presence.
God’s goodness is His promises to us, in all their fullness.
God’s goodness is His offer to bring us HOPE through Christ…eternal pleasures over temporary trinkets.
Yes, this world is not our home, but praise God that we can be confident in the here and now that His goodness is available today.
One day, those of us who have trusted in Christ as our Savior will see Him face to face. We will go to the land of no more tears, no more pain, no more suffering. But, until then, we can strive to see Him in all things, knowing that whether today or years from now, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that His hand was in every step of our journey here on earth. Friends, we do not have to despair. He offers His goodness, a goodness that never fades or spoils, right here, right now. As we celebrate His birth in the coming weeks, may we fall to our knees and rejoice in the One who is making all things new. His love never fails.
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”- Genesis 28:15-16
The Lord is in this place friends. If we seek Him, we will find Him. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift in Jesus Christ.