..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What We Don't Know About the Goodness of God!

What We Don’t Know about the Goodness of God

So much of our life is plagued with doubts,
fears, darkness and unbelief. What we don’t
know about the goodness of God, in our deepest
heart of hearts, is what fosters all dis-ease of
the soul.

The fear that still lives in our hearts causes us
to imagine ourselves to be unprotected,
unwatched over, in danger, and without aid.
We see the world to be a frightening place—
full of uncertainty and danger, both within and
without. What we don’t really know about the
goodness of God is that we are watched over and
guarded with an eternal love. What we don’t know
about the goodness of God is that He truly is
good and does not leave us as orphans. What we
don’t know about the goodness of God is what
Goodness, after all, truly is.

We are safer than the Crown jewels, and hid in the
hollow of God’s hand. Who can snatch us
from His Hand? In all truth, there is no-one.
For the goodness of God does not throw His
loved ones away or allow them to be lost.
We are a present from God to Christ (Ephesians
1:9, 10) and God does not give cheap or
paltry gifts. Nor can anything be stolen from Him.
Tell me again, O Good Lord, how safe I am!
Again and again until I know…
in my deepest heart of hearts.

In our darkness, we are afraid to open our eyes
to the True Light: afraid to believe for all we are
meant to become. We are afraid or unaware of
what God has deigned and designed us to be.
God asks that we invest the substance of faith as the
evidence, the downpayment, of things we dare
not imagine becoming, yet have already been conceived
in the good heart of God. In our fear we have faith,
instead, that there is something about the
goodness of God that would not bring our goodly
hope to fruition. Do not tell me you have not
mistrusted Him! I cry for both of us, all of us!
We are so sorry, Good Father!

I ask you, in Whom have you believed? Is His
Goodness tainted? Is it the mere goodness of
mortal man—indeed, not good at all? What folly
has filled our minds? Look up and behold Him:
O King of Holy Goodness!

In all our of soul’s dark nights, is it not the goodness
of God that both sustains and worries us? Is it not a
comfort and yet, in our vexed and confused state, a
source of fear, creating a mental plague tempting us
that we believe in Someone too Good to be true?
And what if Goodness chooses for me something
that I do not seem to want? even something painful?

Jesus rebuffs a man coming to Him for
calling Him “good.” Does He imply that
our understanding of good does not do God
justice? Does it imply that we invent God
in our own estimations and image? Does it
imply a tainted notion of Goodness that is
born of sitting on the beach of life watching
what washes up on the shore, rather than being
drowned in the ocean of God, an ocean that can
be fairly called The Great Sea of Goodness?
Drown me, indeed, O Lord! It only shall
hurt for a second!

So cautiously we cling to our small gains, our
little gifts, our tiny happinesses. So
jealously we guard that which brings us
only a modicum of joy. We guard joy, or is it
our small happinesses, only to
prevent real Joy from overtaking us.

God, I have not really known Your goodness even
though I am immersed in it. I have failed to
see it a trillion times over You have saved
me from myself, protected me in my weakness,
buoyed me up when despair would have taken
me under. You believe in Your estimation of who
You have made to be when I am yet covered with
the mud of my own strivings and the blinding
fog of my own limited vision of Your Goodness.
You who sing over Me in the darkness,
calling me Home by Your Voice, why do I mistrust
Your perfectly Good essence?

Sing louder, Great Good God! It is sometimes
difficult to hear you over the frightful din of
my own dirges.

You come to me in a million disguises, asking
me to buy “new lamps for old”. You smile at
me with a love that I cannot fathom. Yet, I
fail to recognize You and cling to my burned
out lamp, in my dimly lit heart, which barely
casts enough light to illumine Your Face or my own.
Overtake me in Your Goodness! Light my inmost heart
with a blaze of Your Good Fire!

Great, Good God, you ask me to dance and I
cannot find my feet and fear they are both left.
You call me from my bed of sorrow and I am not
sure enough of Your Goodness that I would eagerly
spring up and find You: You, You who
are Joy itself. I am sorry. Please do not leave
me here. Shake me up and route this madness out,
even if I yell at You to stop, do not!

Your Goodness paints the sky of the universe,
puts the song in the heart of every creature
who praises You. You, You, You who explode with
Goodness--unnoticed in a myriad of ways, in a
myriad of nuances, without measure each day.
If only I could see it! What I don’t know about
Your goodness is killing me. Yet, Your Goodness
is all that will bring me life.

I fall down and worship you forever. Forever! Forever!

What I don’t know about the goodness of God is
that it is absolutely Good, mindblowingly Good,
never to be extinguished Good, incorruptible,
eternal and everlasting Good. It is a Good that
upholds and sustains the universe. I had better
get started knowing it, deep within my heart.
So should you!

Dear Holy Father, I believe in Your goodness,
help my unbelief!

“How great is Your goodness and how great is
Your beauty (Zeph. 9:17)."

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