Monday, July 4, 2016

God's Goodness Considered

Dear Christa—

Summer—in many ways it seems like it has just arrived. June was a whirlwind of traveling: 2 weeks in D.C., a week in Illinois, and a week in Arkansas.
But, this morning, this July 4th, I sit on the porch, Bible on lap and read in Job—Job, a man who followed God and could not understand why God had turned against him.

So often we do not understand God. He is good, yet at times, He doesn’t seem so. Life is short and life is hard. Sometimes it seems that God is against us. We wrestle with the concept of a good God within our pain.

When we contemplate the pain, the suffering, the wrongs that we see and then consider our biblical view that God is good, I must come to the conclusion that I cannot grasp what God’s goodness means. It is something beyond me, something I cannot understand. That is the way Chris put it as we talked about such things in Arkansas.

It changed my perspective a little, like adjusting the position of the laptop screen to remove a reflection that’s marring what I need to see. Instead of hunkering down and insisting that God is good when evil seems—no, does—prevail on every turn, it makes more sense for me to recognize that what it means for God to be good, isn’t just that He has purpose, but that the understanding of God’s goodness is beyond me. I cannot fully understand goodness when it comes to God.

But, I do know that goodness is positive. It is not evil. And, I can trust, I can hope for this day. I can choose to follow God and not curse what has come into my life in times of trouble and confusion. In the despairing tone of Job’s words, I still hear the trust, the faith, and the hope in the God Job follows in the midst of his suffering.

—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything

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