“I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.” – Psalm 13v6
There’s an important distinction between declaring that “God is good” and “God has been good to me.” The first is a general truth and the second is a personal testimony. General truths can seem hard to take in the light of suffering or loss: the “goodness” is difficult to understand in those precise circumstances. There can be times where faith stands up under the strain and says “God is good” (through gritted teeth?)… see below for words from a country man and prophet named Habakkuk…
Tonight I give thanks and praise to God because He has been good TO ME in a specific way. A follow-up test has shown my cancer surgery was completely successful back in 2019. I believe God loves me and looks over me- and in a good partnership with the NHS, I have been blessed with a longer life. Honestly, it was harder to say “God is good” on the day the surgeon said “We need to operate on Thursday…” The general truth about God’s goodness was not something I doubted- but it didn’t “feel” good. God gave me a surprising peace, a wonderful wife, some amazing friends, and a brilliant surgical team… and now, three + years later, the general truth has become a specific one. I am simply grateful- and saying my most sincere thanks.
Today I also have various friends facing surgery, struggling with serious health concerns, living in difficult even tragic circumstances. God is good: my prayer must be that “God will be good to them” in the most appropriate manner, bringing healing and wholeness through medical skill and/or Holy Spirit power and grace. (There is no need to believe it must be God-OR-medicine. It can be BOTH/AND.)
I truly hope that my faith- and theirs- may reach the depth of that man Habakkuk… To be able to say and mean this:
“Even if the fig tree does not bloom
and the vines have no grapes,
even if the olive tree fails to produce
and the fields yield no food,
even if the sheep pen is empty
and the stalls have no cattle—
I will be happy with the Lord.
I will truly find joy in God, who saves me.
The Lord Almighty is my strength.
He makes my feet like those of a deer.
He makes me walk on the mountains.”
– Habakkuk 3v17-19
I’m attaching this post to a photo I took this week of my favourite type of crocus. Purple-and-white stripes with a glowing orange centrepiece. I do believe the God who created these IS good and generously kind.
Simply thankful: Peace and grace to you, with joy and hope through faith!