It Takes a Little Rain to See the Rainbow
Do you see it posted on Facebook - "God is Good!" - presumably shouted loudly and with happy exuberance? I do. It is always, always, always shouted after someone got good news: their scan shows their tumors are stable, they have achieved no evidence of disease (NED) status, they have a new, beautiful grandchild, they had a great agility run with their dog...
I never see it shouted that God is Good when tragedy strikes. When bad news is revealed by the scan, when cancer is discovered or has spread, when someone dies, no one posts about how good God is.
In good times and in bad times?
So, I wonder. Is God good? Is He good all of the time - in good times and in bad times? Is He only good during good times? Does He choose only certain people to whom to be good?
I think some people whose faith is different or who aren't spiritual at all are turned off by the shouting about how good God is. I've seen people struggle with wonder when things aren't going so well in their lives. A failed marriage, a terrible diagnosis, a loss of a loved one, or maybe just not enough money in the bank to pay the stack of bills ... why isn't God good to them? Or, if God is so good, why their problems?
Are we giving great witness to God when we continually praise His Name when good things happen, but are strangely silent (or worse) when they don't? And ... if good things aren't happening in my life, does that mean God isn't good to me?
Even in the darkest times...
Okay, so here's the thing. The questions I ask are rhetorical. I do not personally grapple with whether God is good. I believe He is. But, I don't believe He is only good when things are going our way. I believe He is good during the sad times, the times of struggle, the dark, tumultuous times, just the same as He is when the sun is shining, the sky is clear, and everything is going my way.
To believe otherwise, I think, limits God. And, it denies those who need Him most the power of His comfort. It might even make people who are going through trials and tribulations wonder if or why God doesn't love them. Why He isn't He showering blessings on them so that they too can shout how good He is?
Through the loss, I focus on love
I sit here before you as a bereaved mom, having lost my only child, my son, my reason for living, three months ago. I have been living with stage 4 lung cancer for the past six years. I had to retire early, just a few years before I qualified for full retirement benefits. My husband has his own health challenges, including fighting diabetes and undergoing quadruple bypass surgery. Several of my friends are fighting for their last breaths, even as we speak.
Things are not exactly rosy in my life right now. But, you know what? I still believe that God is good! I might have tears in my eyes when I shout it, but I can say it with as much conviction as I do when things are going my way, God is Good!
What's the saying, "You can't have rainbows without rain?" You can't know true happiness until you experience sadness. These aren't simply platitudes. They're truth.
God is good
I have to tell you. I wish like everything that God would spill some sunshine down into my life about right now. The dreary days, literally and figuratively, are tough to go through. Sometimes, it seems like I'll never feel joy again or walk through life with the carelessness I once did. In fact, sometimes, it feels like just getting through the next hour is about the most I can expect out of myself.
But, through it all, I never doubt, not for one second, that God is good. He's good, not just to those who are experiencing all sunshine in your lives right now, but even to those of us who are struggling to find our smiles again.
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