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In Which I Am Speaking to Myself: God Is Always Good

November 11, 2013

Funny thing about writing and speaking about God — all too often, I am being taught the lesson I am teaching.

I spent Saturday morning in the company of an extraordinary group of women. A more Spirit-filled group I have never seen. I was teaching a workshop, one among many, and my particular topic was about how Bad Things Happen to Nice Girls.

When we just get through this crisis, everything is going to be okay.

Since I’ve already had to endure (blank) then surely I’ve paid my dues and nothing bad will happen to me again.

I prayed in faith, God will hear my prayer and give me what I ask for!

These are my own struggles. I believed God would not take my mom from us because I believed in faith that she would be spared. Deep down, in my secret soul, I feel like I’ve already paid my dues and for any crisis in the future, I deserve a “Get Out of Jail Free” pass, right?

Not so.

Weini is a refugee from Eritrea. She fled her country, leaping from a moving truck while pregnant to avoid imprisonment for being a Christian. She and her husband, a pharmacist, made their way to the United States and she timidly knocked on the door of our church one Sunday morning, asking to be a part of our community. And so she became one, an integral part of our family both at church and in my home. When my mom was deteriorating, Weini came to clean the house. When mom was demanding and difficult, Weini was gracious and kind. She cleaned with her youngest child strapped to her back, his black eyes wide and smiling. When mom died, she cried with us.

Weini loved my mom. Later, working in the church nursery, she loved my children. A consistent presence every Sunday, she told me of Colin’s amazing vocabulary when he was just a toddler. Later, she efficiently plucked Michael off my chest as he screamed in temporary terror of being left, and cuddled him in her lap where he soon settled down.

She and her husband have already put two of their children through college on a shoe string, working multiple jobs, menial jobs, just to keep their family together. They are good, generous, kind people. They love God. They serve their community.

Friday night their oldest son, Peter, was hit by a car and killed.

This is wrong. This is unjust. This is unfair.

They have already suffered enough!

The words I spoke on Saturday morning to the fifty women in my workshop now are speaking themselves to me.

God is always good

God is always good. We are always loved.

Grief and loss can make us forget that we are loved, forget that there is good. Like a filter, we see the world only through a screen of our own pain.

One life-loss can infect the whole of a life. Like a rash that wears through our days, our sight becomes peppered with black voids. Now everywhere we look, we only see all that isn’t: holes, lack, deficiency.

– Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

As I sat in front of my computer, crying for my dear friend’s loss, my son asked what was wrong. Should we tell our children such things? Should they know there are such tragedies in this world?

Of course we should. He did not panic. He did not overreact. He simply said: “We need to pray. We need to pray for them right now.”

And so he began to pray, this 10-year-old boy-man, a Spirit-led and Spirit-filled genuine and heartfelt plea for God’s peace and comfort for that grieving family.

My boy. Not a boy. Quietly leading us, gentling our grief with his own sweet and simple faith.

In that moment, I saw a glimpse of the man he will soon become.

God doesn’t stop being good just because we stop paying attention. God is always good, and we are always loved.

God doesn't stop

We trudge on. We look outside and around the loss-voids in our vision. We push aside the veil and find that  there are always things to be thankful for – even in the darkest times, there is something to be thankful for. For the things we cannot see, for God, who loves us even when we can’t feel it. He does not waste our pain.


Check out the series 31 Days to Shine – 31 days of blogging about a life that glows through the cracks and broken places. 

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2013 7:47 pm

    When we are suffering pain, I believe we need to look at the cross more and say Emmanuel. God is with us and he shows us the way. Thanks for doing your blog.

  2. Bethany permalink
    November 11, 2013 8:03 pm

    I’m all teary, for Weini and her family, for C and his sweet call to prayer in tragedy, and for the goodness of God in the midst of it all.

  3. November 12, 2013 5:30 am

    Somehow, you manage to keep such a tragic story in perspective and hope shines through the darkness. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Aubrey permalink
    November 12, 2013 1:01 pm

    Reading this I felt like I was reading my own thoughts. ‘Ive been though enough so the rest of my life should be peachy right?’ No. I wish bit no. Your so right though even in the darkest times there is beauty, there is abundance. I’m thankful for the grace that allows us to see that. And I written the same words into blog- he doesn’t waste our pain. Not even a tear. THATS how good He is. Thank you for this blog, it will be revisited.

    • November 12, 2013 1:30 pm

      So glad this resonated with you! Thank you for stopping by AND leaving a comment! It’s encouraging.

  5. November 12, 2013 7:48 pm

    I’ve spent my entire adult life wondering how to feel and know and experience that JOY that passes all understanding. What is that elusive fruit of the Spirit called JOY? If I hurt, can I have joy? If my heart is broken or my body is wracked in pain, can I find this joy? If I have lost something or someone dear and precious, is this joy really out there for me? I am slowly coming to realize that no matter what life throws at me, my faith is in the ONE who knows my beginning from my end as I journey on this earth. HE has a plan for me. HE loves little me!! HE died for me! HE knows my pain and my trials! HE has experienced it ALL! HE has participated in life and death on this planet and because of that I now participate with HIM in HIS heavenly kingdom and in HIS Spirit! Bottom line: I AM HIS! Every single minute of every single day belongs to HIM and HE is knitting it all together to prepare me for my heavenly snow white robe. Like you said, nothing is wasted. For what HE is doing in us, we can have JOY. It all matters and it’s perfect! Accepting this reality is helping me to stop chaffing when there are set-backs of every description. As a woman of faith, I don’t have to ask why anymore. I trust HIM. I am being built up, refined, and disciplined because I am LOVED and being transformed into the likeness of HIS dear SON. Your words and wisdom, Adelle, inspire me to think about things that matter. I appreciate your gifts.

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