Saturday, January 30, 2010

God is indeed good.

I’ve recently come to some crossroads in my life: crossroads in my family, crossroads in my job, and a crossroads in my relationship with my Creator. In the past, I was an anxious mess, wanting to know and control the next steps in my life. Now, most nights before my head hits my pillow, I am found contemplating the next adventure God has in store for me. During this time I have come to conclude a couple things: I don’t know where to go from here, I am at peace knowing I am not in control (really, this is the first time I can say that confidently) and God is good, He is oh so very good.

This week a well-loved counselor at Desert Mountain High School passed away suddenly and hundreds of teenagers were left with the question that all humans wrestle with in times of pain and suffering, “why?” In wanting the perfect words to console their grief and fear, God whispered to me “I am still good.” “They won’t understand,” I said as I continued in conversation with God. “But, I am good,” He repeated over and over again as I was preparing to talk about pain to 30 questioning high schoolers.
In Genesis, after creating the heavens and the seas, day and night, the birds and the vegetation, God looks at all this and says “this is good.” BUT after God created man and woman, He looks at all He made and says “that is very good.” We know that God is good because only good can create good. God is good so His creation can only be good. And we are very good? 

The goodness of God means that we are true objects of his love, not of his disinterested concern for our wellbeing. In C.S. Lewis’ book, The Problem of Pain, he develops four scriptural analogies to explain the relation between the Creator and his creature: love of an artist for his artifact, love of a man for a beast, a father's love for a son, and a man's love for a woman. And we wonder "why [how] can any creatures, especially creatures such as we, have value so remarkable in their Creator's eyes?" and we wish God loved us less. "You asked for a loving God: you have one…the consuming fire that made the worlds, persistent as the artist's love for his work and despotic as a man's love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father's love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between the sexes". We may wish for less love, but then we would be dreaming an impossible dream. God is our only good. He gives "what he has, not what he has not; the happiness that there is, not the happiness that is not. If we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows— the only food that any possible universe ever can grow—then we must starve eternally."

The proper response of a creature is to surrender to its Creator, but we [I] don’t. We [I] are learning; We [I] are under construction; We [I] are works in progress. So while He is good, I am learning what it means to surrender. In the meantime, I am reassured that His love never fails.
Nothing can separate
Even if I ran away
Your love never fails
I know I still make mistakes
But You have new mercies for me everyday
Your love never fails
You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning
And when the oceans rage
I don't have to be afraid
Because I know that you love me
Your love never fails
The wind is strong and the water's deep
But I'm not alone in these open seas
Cause Your love never fails
The chasm is far too wide 
I never thought I'd reach the other side
But Your love never fails
You make all things work together for my good
Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39