Do I really believe that? I remember the pastor saying, "God is good" and the congregation would respond, "All the time!" and there were times that I doubted. When my whole world is turning around and around and the bottom drops out and I can't find my bearings. He's the one ripping off the covers and making me face those things that I've hidden from. Where is my belief that He's always good? Is He really always, always good? I can so quickly turn into the people of Israel and complain just like them. Did you deliver me from that, to kill me with is? Really how shallow, how ridiculous; that question doesn't even make sense. Where's the trust in that mode of thinking? In that perspective I'm essentially saying, "I'll handle this I just needed you for that, God." But what we fail to understand is that He is in everything, really, really. Look for the goodness, look for Him. He always gives us the grace to to go through with it. Success cannot be measured by our weak, human eyes. We can only attain it by pursuing Him and taking all that He gives us, not running from the bad, the difficult, the scary things and embracing the lovely and good only.
The way is steep, the path narrow, but the perspective is so much better. I climb this mountain and it takes my breath at times, and my calves scream from the stretching of muscles out of use. At its base I can't see around it, can't tunnel through it, can't dig under it, the only way is up and over. But the view is indescribable to those who don't make the trek. Things look different from above, from His viewpoint. You can see over the circumstances, the way to come, further into the distance. On the way, He leaves little traces of His own steps, love notes for you to read, treasures for you to find. Here's one He left for me on the trail this morning:
Luke 1222-24He continued this subject with his disciples. "Don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.25-28"Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can't even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don't fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?29-32"What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
Leaning down to tighten up my hiking boots I trudge on, knowing that He's got the vantage point I want to look for.
Wave after wave, trouble upon trouble it mounts and I fight for the surface and beat back the foe. But what if I'm not being bullied, what if I don't think about giving up and crying for release? What if I don't hide from the next storm, but instead I speak to it and learn to exercise my voice and authority? Change my perspective and realize that everything that comes to me comes through His hands first, no matter if I recognize it as good or not. What if I really believe what He says, all that He says? What if I stop saying Uncle and start saying Abba...