Things have happened this year for my family and I—wonderful things. God has moved in amazing ways! We’ve seen needs met, and things unlooked for delivered—as the scriptures say—unto our bosoms. We have truly been blessed.
You have been a large part of this.
And yet there is a part of me that wonders when the other shoe will drop. Because of all the great kindnesses received, I’m looking about like a caged animal wondering when my world will fall in upon itself, and how can I get out?
How messed up is that?
It’s not that I’m questioning the goodness of God (although I guess I am), it’s rather more about experience.
It’s a place where faith runs smack dab into the exigencies of living in a fallen world.
At thirteen, my dad took my brother and I to see Return of the Jedi, only to tell us afterwards that he was leaving my mom.
My wife and I married with hopes and dreams of family (which have since been fulfilled), only to be told we would never have children.
Those are but two of a lifetime of examples of something good always getting knocked back by a chaser of “bad.” The spoonful of sugar did nothing to abate the cadaverous taste. (A part of me wonders if God allows these things to teach a lesson about not getting too comfortable “down here.” Like maybe there’s a reason all of our joys are shot through with sorrow… Like the “dream home” that turns out to be nothing so much as quite a lot of work?).
The point is, somewhere along the way, I internalized this message: be wary of the good things that come your way, because something will always come along to chase the joy away. That is the voice of experience.
And it often screams louder than the voice of faith.
But God is not that way.
He is not the parent that takes a child to the movies just to soften the blow of bad news. Like the one will counterbalance the other? No, God speaks the truth in love—lovingly telling me who I am, and Who He is. His mercies may at times seem severe, but He is neither capricious, nor malicious: what He does He does for our ultimate good. He is epitome of good—the sum, and source, of it.
It is not for nothing that the Scriptures say:
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:11, ESV).
“How much more?”
He is good, desires my good, and yet I hedge, anticipate the bad.
Why don’t I trust Him?
Why am I looking for the other shoe to fall?
Why do I feel guilty being blessed?
Why can’t I rest in the fundamental goodness of a good God?
Why these mistrustful eyes, darting about to and fro?
Why do I look for the cloud in the silver lining?
How about you?