As some of you may have figured out, I have watched each of my granddaughters full time from the time they were born. Thankfully, my daughter is a teacher in a small Christian school so I get plenty of time “off”. School re-opened before Labor Day here. One of our favorite things to do each afternoon, after nap time, is to have a snack on the back deck. This past week after eating her snack, Jocelyn climbed up into my lap to snuggle and talk.
One day this week I said to her, “Let’s close our eyes tight and take turns telling each other what we can hear.”
She loved the idea and quickly began:
She heard an airplane. I heard the wind chime. She heard a bird. I heard the wind. She heard the ant walking on my deck.
I asked her to look at me and said, “What does an ant sound like walking on my deck?” to which she quickly responded, “Just like an ant walking on your deck.”
It wasn’t a sassy reply but a very matter-of-fact reply. I realized she had seen an ant walking when her eyes were open. Therefore, when her eyes were closed and she was “in the dark”, she could still “see” and “hear” what she knew to be true when her eyes were opened.
A few days later, I opened my book and as I read the second chapter, I was humbled to realize God was already preparing me for this chapter the very day I sat outside with Jocelyn. Let me explain:
In this chapter, the author shares on the truth, God is good. We would all agree that He is a good God. And yet, if we’re honest, we have all faced times when we have questioned this very truth. On page 38, he raises this question with regards to the loss of his own daughter:
“How does a Christian, one who believes in the goodness of God, respond to something so tragic and heartbreaking?”
(from The Good and Beautiful God, by James Bryan Smith)
Jocelyn had so beautifully provided the answer that day on the deck –
At the end of this chapter, the author provides “soul training”, an exercise to help us discipline ourselves to recognize the truth on which he has written. For this chapter, he encourages us to spend five minutes each day in silence and awareness of creation. After reading this chapter and my experience last week, I am thinking this is something I want to incorporate in my life each day.
In Matthew 19:17, Jesus describes God: “There is only One who is good.” The author further explains Jesus’ statement:
Jesus describes a God who seems altogether good and is always out for our good, even if we cannot understand it.” (page 42)
Have you ever found yourself believing in God yet doubting when going through a difficulty? What do you do at those times?
Maybe it comes down to making one small change in our lives, consistently each day.
The goodness of God is a truth we can stand upon, whether we can understand His ways or not.