The goodness of God makes me uncomfortable. Suddenly, the desires of my heart are being met and I discover a new fear hiding within me. Every few days it crawls out of the deep place in my heart and stops me mid-dance, whispering that God’s goodness is not free. Not for me. Convincing me that there must be a catch. There must be a hard lesson coming.
God is good. His word proclaims it, and my life proves it. So what is this fear that kicks at my feet while I’m dancing for joy? Why am I waiting for the door to slam? Why would God be this good to me? There. That’s the real question slamming against the sides of my brain. Why, God?
Maybe I had prayed enough, repented enough, been kind enough to strangers. Maybe I really was good enough to earn the favor of God. Or maybe my pride is quickly sucking up all the oxygen in the room. Stupid theory #1 was quickly abandoned.
So here I sit in God’s goodness and I’m squirming with a sort of weird discomfort. Because I can’t find the reason. And I can’t find the reason that I need a reason. It’s all quite maddening. And this exposure of my heart is like a fly that continually dive bombs a really good nap. I’m trying to enjoy this goodness (before it disappears?), but my heart is naked again and I want to yell at God to stop doing this to me.
Because I’ve been here before – heart exposed to the One who formed it. Light goes deep and I remember long ago mouthing the words uttered by King David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” This exposure is what I had asked of my ever faithful God, because my own heart was as much as mystery to me as His. And cleansing doesn’t happen to hidden things.
In His cleansing He asked His own question. “To whom are you comparing Me?” Light comes far too swiftly for dark to get out of the way.
I live in a world where, just like love, goodness needs a reason. It is a cynical, un-trusting world, and while I am in it but not of it, sometimes I view God through it. Which is a blame-the-world way to say that I am often cynical and untrusting toward God.
The fear, the questions, the wondering…all of the discomfort once again comes back to one thing. What do I really believe about God?
Somewhere from the back of my mind I hear a familiar refrain: “If something seems to be too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.”
And so I return to my place of refuge. In this place, He will speak truth and the lies will bow down. My exposed heart will be comforted and cleansed.
“Then Moses said, ‘Now show me your glory.’ And the Lord said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you…'” (Exodus 33:18-19)
Moses wanted to see My glory. I answered by showing Him My goodness. Goodness is not something I do, it is who I am.
“They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.” (Psalm 145:6-7)
My goodness is not meager. Not doled out in drips. It is abundant, poured out, celebration worthy goodness.
“You are good, and what you do is good.” (Psalm 119:68)
I am good and I do not change, and my goodness extends to everything I do. It is not tied to circumstance. I will not be good today, and not good tomorrow. Your circumstances may change. Storms will invade your life. Trials will come. Difficulties will arise. You dwell in a fallen world, but I am not a fallen God. No matter what happens, I will still be good. To you.
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” (Proverbs 8:17)
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
My goodness is not trickery, nor is it fickle. It is a part of the promise. When you seek Me, you find Me. When you find Me, you find My goodness.
In utter desperation I have sought God…and found the only thing that is not too good to be true. Abundant goodness. Worth celebrating. Worth proclaiming.
“I will sing to the Lord,
for He has been good to me.”
To me. Because He is God. Because He is good.