God Is Good All the Time–Or is He?

I often see posts on the internet that make me pause. For instance, today I saw a post from a Facebook friend updating her son’s health condition a few days after a surgery. Things are going well, and she added the comment, “God is indeed good.”

And, I believe that God is good. I will regularly respond to someone who says, “God is Good,” with the accepted-in-Christian-circles response–“all the time.”

But do I really live like I believe that? We hardly ever add the thought, “God is Good” after the announcement of bad news, do we? I have to say that this came to mind today because I got some disappointing news. It wasn’t earth-shattering, and I nor none of my loved ones are ill or facing tragedy. But it was a “no” answer to a prayer request that I was really starting to believe might be a “yes.” I mean, we had asked lots of people to pray about this. Everyone who heard our request seemed to be willing to pray about it, and enough time passed between the time we started to ask and the time we got the answer that people were checking in to see if there was an update. So I¬†was starting to let myself hope it would be positive. So after this disappointing “no” answer from God, do I really believe God is good all the time?

Yes.

I believe that He says no to us for a reason. I also believe that He says no over and over again to requests that seem like yes would be better.

I also know that I don’t have all the information that God does. He knows what He will do 1 month, 1 year, 10 years down the road. He knows that answering yes to this thing that seems so obvious to me is the best solution might really end badly. He knows. He knows. I don’t.

My knowledge of God’s goodness is a comfort. It is a balm to me when I get disappointing news or even when I get devastating news. But sometimes, I have to really lather myself up in the balm before I can let it sink in and accept it. Sometimes I have to take some time to process events in order to remember the truth that God is Good All the Time!

The hymn What E’re my God Ordains is Right sums it up for me:

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er He doth;
And follow where He guideth;
He is my God; though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to Him I leave it all.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path:
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken.
My Father’s care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to Him I leave it all.