“God is good. All the time.” This phrase, which I've heard many Christians say over the years, has been rolling around my soul lately. It's been a time when I've had more questions than answers.
I've had the phrase said frequently to me by compassionate
Christian friends when they've looked at my health situation, prayed to God for healing- and then seen that nonetheless I'm still in a wheelchair/ walker, still struggling with mobility, still desperately trying to regain the ability to walk. What else really can one say in a situation like this but that God's goodness remains unchanged?
But it's caused my soul to reflect: Is God really good even when we face significant struggle, pain, or loss? When our lives seem to be falling apart? When it feels like more darkness than light is present?
Is God always good when a harsh autumn wind pummels leaves off the trees, leaves that took all spring and summer to grow? Is he good even when winter comes and in the midst of a frozen, dark world warmth feels far away?
For me, it was easier to glibly believe God is good when my world was bright and happy and easy. But, I know pain intimately. I’ve lived for many years, almost all my adult life in fact, with a condition that causes severe physical pain and disability. It caused me to relinquish the career I put ten years into building and really loved. In addition to my mobility challenges, for the past three years it's caused me to use assistive voice technologies at times to communicate. Can I still truly, honestly say “God is always good”?
I wish I could say that I can easily separate my physical circumstances from my acceptance of God’s goodness, but if I am completely open, sometimes it is really hard.
However, I’m learning that that separation is exactly what is needed. When we look beyond the jagged boundaries of our lives- both our losses and the blessings - we discover that God’s goodness is not dependent on how our lives are going. It’s not dependent on us, in fact is completely separate from our circumstances.
God is good because He is Good. His nature is goodness: he is light and love. And that is something to be celebrated. And so I can say: God is Good. All the Time.