May we come together in worship that our hearts may sing to God and not be silent!
Oh Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. (Psalm 30)
I was asked once, “Can suffering exist and God still be good?”
That’s a crazy question, isn’t it? Can good come out of suffering?
Two years ago, on Thanksgiving morning I called my mom and asked her to list for me the things I could be thankful for. That year, I was struggling to see any goodness and what I could be thankful for. My family and I had just experienced suffering and brokenness in ways that we could not imagine.
We were walking through our son’s crumbling marriage, a child’s unexplained health issues, we sent two kids off – one to college and the other halfway across the world. We were enduring extreme loneliness and an identity redefined.
I had been asked if suffering could exist if God was good before, and I could flippantly respond, “Yes, of course!” But really, I had never walked through pain like I was that Thanksgiving. Everything changed for me, and that same question brought such a different meaning. Was He still good even when I was suffering so much?
That Thanksgiving, I did find God’s goodness in the middle of all the yuck; I just had to look in different places. God showed me that His goodness is all around me, and I realized How much I miss when I am not reliant on Him. I saw His goodness in the beauty of the earth, the songs I sang in church, the scripture that was so beautifully placed in my devotions, the people who encouraged me, and the relationships that were grown.
I wish I could tell you that because I found God and His goodness amongst the yuck that Thanksgiving, that it all turned out wonderfully. Truthfully it didn’t! The crumbled marriage still happened, my child’s health still remained a mystery, and my children left my “nest” to build their own. But I was reminded that God is good in all things and that I had many things to be thankful for.
During those days, what I did experience (something I could not have experienced otherwise) is that God promises that He will turn my wailing into dancing, remove my sackcloth, and clothe me with joy (Psalm 30:11). What He asks of me, is that I give thanks in all circumstances and declare in easy and hard times, that He is good (1 Thess 5:18).
Friends, God promises that Yes, Joy does come after sadness and that He is good… always!
That Thanksgiving, this is what I found to be thankful for. My hope is that you too, will see the goodness all around you.
- I am thankful for a God who is good ALL THE TIME. Not just when things are going the way we want them to.
- I am thankful that God gives strength and endurance in times of difficulty.
- I am thankful for his goodness in every situation in life, including the hard times.
- I am thankful for God’s mercy and grace.
- I am thankful that we can cling to him and that he is always there – ever-present.
- I am thankful that when life is changing, our God is never changing.
- I am thankful for a good God who turns sorrows into joy.
- I am thankful that God is our refuge, our protector and our strength. God is good all the time.
- I am thankful that God never gives us more than we can handle or take us farther than we can go, even though the stretching hurts.
- I am thankful for a community that holds me up when I can’t stand. A community that prays for me and supports me. A community that reminds me that our God is a good, good God, even in the middle of the suffering.
Dear Sister, are you in the midst of a trial, a difficult time, or heartache? My heart aches for your suffering and your pain. I pray especially for you today, that you may find God’s goodness.
May He open your eyes to see what you have not yet seen.
Photo by Jenny Caywood on Unsplash