I have always hated the testimonies at church, “My parents were in an accident, but they walked away from it without injury. God is good.” Especially after my mom was killed in a traffic accident 14 years ago, I wanted to scream, “Does that mean God is not good?”
Going all the way back to the garden, it was never God’s plan for us to judge good and evil. That was His job. We were just called to walk with Him. But ever since Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil, we’ve deemed ourselves worthy to judge even God over good and evil. Since our wisdom is limited to this 80 year span, we make judgments that seem valid. We can’t see outside our understanding. So if God is doing things to make these 80 years better, then He is good. If we need something to be okay in this life, and God doesn’t provide it, then we feel abandoned.
The disciples felt abandoned. When Jesus died, they were left in shock. When He had talked about being King, bringing His Kingdom, they put that in their understanding. Obviously He had come to fix their current situation. He was going to rise up and set them free from Roman rule. He was going to be King in Jerusalem. He had come to their rescue. He was good. But now that He was dead, their hope was gone. They went back to their jobs. They had trusted a fake.
But He came back to life and changed all that. He showed them what His Kingdom was all about. Then leaving them with His Holy Spirit, they entered into an intimacy with God that had never been possible before. Here was a Kingdom that offered complete acceptance, love, forgiveness, sonship from their Creator. The mystery of all that Jesus had been speaking of, now revealed, Christ in you, the Hope of Glory!
These men went on to face persecution and death, but they lived life with a passion that came from an intimate connection with Father God. The Kingdom was way bigger than they had ever dreamed. No matter how bad their circumstances became, His Kingdom was their anchor. Jesus, not their circumstances, was life to them.
So when life is unfair, when God doesn’t answer our prayers, when we don’t get healed, when terrorists take out Christian villages in Africa, when children are sold into slavery, where is God? If our understanding is exhaustive and complete, then we can say, “God doesn’t care.” “He has abandoned us.” “God is not good.” But if our understanding is only a microcosm of God’s full, infinite knowledge, lets remember that His original plan was for us to take our cues from Him. He is the One with wisdom, knowledge and insight. He is Love. God is Good.
I’m not afraid to die. That’s not a big deal to me. But the idea of leaving my family is unbearable. So my prayer is that God would heal me from this cancer in my body, whether through His supernatural touch or by the hands of doctors. But whatever the outcome my anchor is still that God is good and His nearness is my good.