Tuesday, February 16, 2010

God is Good?

I hope that you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day. I thought I would share with you what my hubby gave me. This year I received some pistachios and this book to the left, Beth Moore's "So Long, Insecurity you've been a bad friend to us". Now, before you start judging my husband harshly for not getting me flowers, chocolates, or jewelry let me make it clear that I specifically asked for this. He did good not getting me chocolate because he knows how hard I've been trying to be good. He is also aware that 90% of my jewelry is tangled together in a ball courtesy of our two year old. And, all of our flower vases are currently available waiting to catch mice in. :)

So, this is not equal to the time he gave me another Beth Moore book "Get Out of That Pit". For Mother's Day. Bless his heart. He knows I love Beth Moore and figured anything written by her would be enjoyed but I must say, that gift had me a little peeved. I had for sure spent some time in a pit and had attempted to drag him down with me with both hands, but I thought those days were past us. The fact that he would grant my request this time after the heck I gave him last time reveals his undying love and desire to please me. I'm glad he wasn't too insecure. :)

With all of that said, chances are good you will hear me quoting from this book a good bit in coming days. I read it in 2 days. I would have finished it Saturday (we did Valentine's early) if I could have sent Sarah to the grocery store for me. I will tell you, this is not typical Beth Moore, if you are accustomed to her very detailed, intensive Bible studies. She says this is the closest she will ever come to writing her autobiography and it is more of her testimony to her own struggles with insecurities and the things God has taught her in dealing with them. She addresses all of the obvious insecurities we face from the pressure to be skinny, sexy and beautiful to the insecurities we feel about not being educated enough, popular enough, rich enough and all of those struggles we face. I say that assuming me and Mrs. Moore are not the only ones who face these insecurities. Am I right?

Well, I am planning to post more about those insecurities in the future, but today I am feeling led to share something that she shared that has really impacted my heart over the weekend. You see, while she addresses the many causes of insecurity, she gets down to the heart of the matter in that we must learn to find our security in our Heavenly Father. And this goes to issues deeper than our size or circle of friends. It has to do with learning to be secure in our Father in the scariest moments of life.

Psalm 112:7-8 says, "He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes."

Did you catch that first part? "No fear of bad news". Do any of you fear bad news? Do you get that sick feeling in your stomach when the phone rings at a certain time in the morning? Someone says, "I have to tell you something" and you assume it is the worst possible news? Me too.

I'm gonna jump ship for a minute and head in a different direction. I hope you can stay with me until it all works together. You know kind of like we're told in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who are the called according to His purpose." Has anyone ever shared that verse with you at a time when it was the last thing you wanted to hear? Kind of like having your heart broken and being told "You can do so much better, there are more fish in the sea." Losing a loved one and being told, "You know they are in a better place." Not being able to get pregnant and hearing, "God knows best." All well-meaning of course, but when your heart is shattered sometimes they just don't cut it.

Something we often hear is "God is good! All the time!" I believe that. I really do. I won't say I've never had my moments of not feeling that He is. I won't say that I've never questioned why certain things happen if He is good. I'm only human too. I am going to be completely honest here and tell you that I have even had time when it has downright annoyed the snot out of me to hear people say it. There. Now I've certified myself as the worst preacher's wife ever. The reason it has annoyed me is that in a time of grief and hardship I noticed that the only time I heard people say it was when life was good. Circumstances were good. Relationships were good. I guess Facebook gives us our most sincere look into the minds of others. When was the last time you saw someone post an update that said "I lost my job. God is good!" "My dog died. God is good!" "My husband just left me. God is good!" Yeah, me neither.

I'm not saying it is bad to praise God when He gives you the job you were seeking or blesses you in other ways. Of course we should! I'm just saying sometimes we forget that He is good, even when we are not. Even when life is not. Even when we've prayed our hearts out and feel like He hasn't worked out a single thing the way we asked Him too. I'm also not encouraging people to be totally fake and go around smiling and saying, "My life is falling apart, but God is good! Praise God everything is going wrong!" There is nothing that gets under my skin like insincerity and fakeness. God doesn't need us to be His PR firm making sure people think that being a Christian means you are always happy. NOT!!!!

So here is what I am trying to say, albeit very uneloquently. God is good. All the time. That is where our security lies. That is why we don't have to fear bad news. Here is what Mrs. Moore says,

"I don't think the psalmist meant that the person described had a lifetime guarantee from God that he would never get any bad news. Hard things happen to all of us, and they often come in the form of "news". It's part of pumping blood on this fretful planet. The psalmist meant just what he said. She doesn't live in fear of bad news. Why is she free from such self-torment? Stay with me here, because this connection is crucial: she is free because she knows that "in the end [she] will look in triumph on [her] foes." Translation? God will work all things-no matter how difficult or devastating-out to her advantage. Her enemy will not triumph over her. It may hurt in the beginning, but it's going to be beautiful "in the end."

I hope some of this is making sense, because it has been doing big things in my heart. To sum all of this up, we don't have to fear the bad news, not because it will never come, but because when it does come, God is still good and will give us the strength, peace and purpose that we need to survive it. We can sit around all day and wonder why bad things have to happen. As far as I know that hasn't stopped one bad thing from happening yet. We can spend the precious hours of our life worrying about things that haven't happened yet, but could happen. I haven't been able to worry things out of NOT happening either. The fact is, bad news will come. The phone will ring with news that will change life forever. The doctor will give you a sympathetic look and life will never be the same. We will have empty rooms in our houses either missing people who have left them or waiting on people who have yet to come. We are all different and all of our situations are different, but one thing is the same. Life is hard. God is good. We can spend our time blaming Him for things that have happened or we can grab hold of Him and let Him carry us through those times. We can shut down or lash out. Or we can allow Him to use the ugliest events in our lives to produce the most beautiful fruit in them.

I wish I could write all of this "in theory". As in, fortunately I haven't experienced anything bad in life. I always loved all of the "theories" we learned in school. I remember my first time walking into a falling down, flea infested house occupied by an 86 year old woman who had no family and was on the verge of not knowing who she was. I wondered if the people who wrote those "theories" had experienced much real life. I write this as someone who has experienced much real life. I have to tell you, there was a time, even before I lost my dad, that I had a conversation with God about this subject. It went something like this: God, don't you think that Josh and I would be more effective in ministry if we weren't always so preoccupied with our own issues? In other words, could you make life a little easier for us so we would have more time to help others?

I didn't get a visual appearance of God that day, but I'm sure if I had, He would have been rolling His eyes and slapping Himself in the head saying, Oh, you just don't get it!! Because I do get it now. I get that if God put me in a little glass house separated from everyone and immune to life's hardships I might have more time for other people, but I wouldn't have an ounce of compassion for them.

I pray that today would bring us one step closer to being able to say, "[Her] heart is secure, [she] will have no fear". There is not a person, place or thing on this earth we can put our complete security in. But we have a Heavenly Father who offers complete security. Because He is good!


Anonymous said...


Life is hard, and yes God is Good. I am living proof of God's grace and mercy. When I felt like giving up, God was good. When I didn't understand what or why, God was good. Our faith is tested, but God is good. He never lets go and never ever gives up. I love you girl, keep on keeping on! I'm hitching my wagon to God's hand, weee what a ride...God is Good! Love Momma Cash

Amber Gregory said...

I am so glad that you have read this book and are sharing your thoughts, feelings and testimony about it, I want to read this so bad! I am somewhat following along with her blog on LPM with this study! Thanks Em :)

Karen said...

If you could read my last journal entry, you would know how much I needed this today. Thanks Em. Love you!

Melody said...

These are great thoughts you shared with us, Emily. You have made me want to go buy that book too! I was laughing at your hubs giving you "Get out of the pit" book...hilarious! Not really, but yes, sort of. Okay, it really is funny that you can laugh at it now.

Anonymous said...

I needed this TODAY! I have been hurt and I want to lash out even thought I know it is wrong. I need prayer for a better attitude. Thank you for writing this. You are such an inspiration to me.

Marie Kennedy