Whether you are a Christian or not, whether you’ve been walking with Jesus for 90 years or nine days, chances are you’ve doubted God’s goodness at some point in your life. The bible tells us a lot about who God is; He is kind and humble in heart. He is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth! It tells us that God is kind.
I remember the first time I really thought about this attribute. I was sitting in dim lit room across from my counselor at the time, folding and unfolding my tear and snot infested tissue. Somehow the character of God became the focal point of our conversation. As I was spewing out/ trying to piece together my fragmented, unfiltered thoughts, she began to ask me questions that ultimately pointed to one question: “Do you believe Jesus is a kind father?”
There is an advertisement about a brand of snack bars called “KIND bars”. Using a play on words with the brand’s name, they claim to have “discovered the difference between what it means to be nice and what it means to be kind”. It goes on: “Nice is polite but not always what we need to hear. Kind is honest and stands its ground… Nice is something you say. Kind is something you do”. Honestly, when I first read this ad, I rolled my eyes and legitimately felt annoyed at the content writer’s aim for depth when describing a snack bar that I buy for $2 in a vending machine.
BUT! Reflecting on these words, there is actually a lot of truth here. God’s KINDNESS is not the same as our idea of “niceness”. And God’s kindness is evidence of His goodness. But because I so often mistake how I feel God is with who God is I spend A LOT of time living life blind to the magnitude of God’s goodness.
Last week was one of those weeks filled with a lot of hard days, a lot of questioning, and a lot of doubts. One night, I remember sobbing to and yelling at God on a car ride home alone: “God are you good?! I believe, help my unbelief! Truthfully, I don’t even KNOW if I believe, God. I need you to show me you are a good Father!”
My emotions matter, but my emotions do NOT determine the goodness of God. Seemingly all week long I was experiencing the utter brokenness of a sin-infested world. I felt hopeless and crushed in spirit. For the first time in a long time, I seriously began to recognize my doubt of God’s goodness and kindness towards me. But I also felt a tug- a gentle, yet powerful tug. A tug that is evidence that God is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit. And like a tiny drop of the strongest super glue in the universe, all the broken pieces of my heart were being held together, even though I felt like my life was falling apart. That week came and went. God blessed me richly though the trials and although nothing is completely restored (and it won’t be until Jesus comes back), today I can truthfully say that I can see the goodness of the Lord amidst that hard week. Because He is more good today than He was last week? Absolutely not.
A friend of mine recently lost his beautiful, little baby girl. He wrote a moving testimony about Blakely’s life and the divine purpose she fulfilled in her 10 short months on this earth. He made a statement that in an instant changed everything for me. It was a statement that so boldly proclaims the purpose Blakely accomplished so well during her short time on earth and God’s purpose for all of us: I am called to live, and simultaneously called to suffer. Friends, confront those deep, broken, real hurting places. Mourn over loss, ask God hard questions, feel the depth of this world’s utter brokenness. It is there, I believe, that you will encounter God. And it is there that I believe He is producing a fruit in you that is only harvested in the valley. And one day (in this lifetime or the next) you will reflect on that week, that day, that season and be humbled and ask God for forgiveness for ever doubting His complete, radical, unfailing kindness towards you. And He will forgive you. And you will see the goodness of the Lord.