God is Good
“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper.”
Betsie ten Boom
I don’t know why seeing that phrase suddenly rubbed me the wrong way. I’ve said it plenty of times before myself, the words always bubbling out with excitement.
God is good. Isn’t He? I know it’s true. But I suppose that it’s easy for me to say God is good when I’m fed and clothed and, for the most part, happy.
What if when you’re running scared and starving, and you’ve been beaten so bad that old scars open up again to form new ones? Is God still good then?
When a brother dies, when someone goes missing, when the sweet little girl becomes a sex slave, are many of us prone to say, “God is good?”
I think about how I’ve always loved the rain. One of my greatest delights is to run around and twirl in the rain, soaking skin and hair with water from the heavens.
So many times, I’ve reminded myself that “life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass … it’s about learning to dance in the rain” (Vivian Greene). And so, I can laugh and spin with family and friends, or I can waltz all by my lonesome. And I love it.
I just wish it were as easy to apply figuratively to my life.
The truth is, I’ve never really had it tough in life. I’ve had struggles and fears, and there have been sleepless nights and hard to break habits, times of crying in the closet over issues it felt like no one could fix, but I’ve never really been persecuted. I’m not a martyr.
Am I sore right now? A little. But even though my knees and my back ache, I feel myself resting safely in the hands of God. I so desperately wish I could give that feeling to someone who I feel is more deserving, even if I am used to comfort.
But at this point in my life, I can’t. At least, not in all the ways I’d like to. Because of where God has me right now, whether or not I’ll ever completely understand, I have to accept compromise. Although I assume that will be the case wherever I go.
Still, it feels hypocritical to stand and say how God is good and great, holy and all-knowing, when He has not given me a lot of suffering to endure at this time.
I can’t claim to have the answers. I can only think of sitting on lawn chairs in the garage with my grandfather, watching the thunderstorm.
Thunder is crackling, nervously, and lightning may not be in abundance tonight, but it is still present and frighteningly beautiful.
“Eeh, you know it’s going to end,” my grandfather says, almost offhandedly. I know that he’s seen and lived through a lot. And I want to ask him if he knew that when his wife lay dying of cancer. If he thought it was over once she was gone, and he was left with three children under the age of ten to pick up the pieces.
I want to ask my friends whose brother died if they ever thought the pain would end.
I want to ask Betsie ten Boom if she still believed what she said—“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper”—even as she was dying in a concentration camp.
I want to ask a slave if she thinks her horror will ever end on Earth.
But I don’t. Instead, I observe, because they can give me better answers by their way of loving impossibly than I could ever try to explain after hours of study.
I hope to have answers for some people, but sometimes the best thing I can do is simply point to someone else.
God is not just good. He is holy and mighty and all-knowing and strong, slow to anger, abounding in love, righteous, zealous, compassionate, merciful, graceful, judging, omnipresent and powerful. His voice shakes the heavens, making warriors tremble at the same time. Yet, He knows the number of sand grains on the seashore.
He is the master author and creator, and for all we know, decades could be a mere speck to Him.
We call Him good, because we cannot comprehend all that He is. And if He is good, then He is good all the time. In everything.
When He blesses me or allows me to suffer for Him, or both, I pray now that I will be as ready as I can be. I will have hope and trust in the One who breathed life into my lungs and watched me be born again unto Him.
And I know without a shadow of a doubt that, someday, it is going to end.
Rachel Taylor of Stafford, VA is a 20 year-old student midwife.