God is good.
Do you believe this?
People say that God is good, that He cares for those who trust in Him, as today’s Scripture passage says. They may even quote it. What they DO in difficult times, however, says they may not really believe He is good.
Allow me to make it personal: Can you believe that God is good when you perceive things in your life as bad?
When painful things happen, people become angry and bitter. They blame God for their problems. Because they hurt, they believe that God is not good, that He does not care. In my understanding and experience, they are judging Him by wrong criteria: They are judging God by how they feel.
The last several days have been difficult for us. The image above is of Karen with our Doberman, Casi. This photo was taken less than an hour prior to Casi’s passing. We said goodbye to her Monday at 3:25 pm. I held her in my arms as she breathed her last.
She came to be with us in 2014. We rescued her from a very bad situation. This magnificent, eighty-five pound Doberman was forty-six pounds, “running loose” with no shelter in winter, and within days of dying of starvation when brought her into our home.
As we loved her, cared for her, and nursed her back to health, she grew to be a part of us. As I described the way I felt about her, “I would fight off a pack of wolves for her.” And I would.
We took her in under our protection and there she remained… until Monday. Our love for her is no different than our love for a person because it all originates in God–and God IS love. The only difference is where the love is focused. The fact that she had four legs instead of two made no difference whatsoever to me.
Her passing is a hard situation for us. Our other dog, Hadi, is grieving as well. Our entire family is affected and in grief. Is God good in this? Some would say He is not. I say that God is good especially in this. How so?
This hurts more than anything in a long time. Is this bad? No, this too is good because when emotions are stirred, things are more easily revealed–the barriers to our seeing become less dense. The pain then becomes an opportunity. This is how it is working:
Through Casi’s passing, God is using my relationship with her–and the impact of the emotions I feel from her loss–to “shake loose” (reveal) things in my life that I need to see. This realization is enabling a new level of freedom from strongholds of the past (patterns of thinking I did not previously see).
Is this good? Of course. How then can I say that because Casi’s passing causes great pain that God is not good–when He is enabling great good through it? This is why I say that God is good especially in this.
If you judge God’s goodness by how you feel, you are incorrectly judging Him and you will not see Him as good. Do not make that mistake. If you do, you will miss very important things in your life.
God IS good. He IS a refuge in times of trouble. He DOES care for those who trust in him. I choose to believe this. Because I choose so, I see and understand what happens in my life in a different way. I can now see God’s goodness even when I hurt.
Back to the personal question I asked: Can you believe that God is good when you perceive things in your life as bad? Take time to think about this today. As you do, know that your answer is a choice–and one you should never base on how you feel but on what you believe.
Today’s Seed™ Scripture and Prayer for Mar. 8, 2023:
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, (Nahum 1:7 NIV)
Prayer: LORD, when days are dark, circumstances are difficult, and I see no solution to the troubles I face or pain I feel, give me courage to look beyond my circumstances and feelings to You. You are a refuge in bad times. In You I can find peace to enjoy good times. Thank You for being good all the time and for caring for me in everything that concerns my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved • http://www.e-min.org
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“Today’s Seed” from E-MIN • Mar. 8, 2023
About Randall Vaughn:
With 40+ years as pastor, author, teacher, worship leader, and songwriter, Randall pioneered E-MIN in 1997–one of the earliest online ministries and today the longest operating. His passion is leading people to deeper, genuine relationship with God. He lives in Alabama with his lovely wife, Karen, and their dogs, Hadi and Casi. He enjoys hiking, exploring new tech, and “prayer walks”.
3 thoughts on ““Today’s Seed” from E-MIN Mar. 8, 2023”
Tom and I will be praying for you all through this very difficult time. They leave such a silence behind…Robyn.
I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved Casi. I pray for God’s comfort for you, Karen and Hadi.
Erica Sent from my iPhone
Prayers for you and Karen during this time. We were in your same spot 3 months ago. It’s hard but all dogs go to Heaven
Sent from my iPhone