Thursday, May 23, 2013

GOD IS GOOD

I do a lot of my thinking in the morning as I lie in bed.  I usually wake up gradually, lying on my back, with Uni lying at my right side, her right arm and leg wrapped around me, her head on my shoulder, as she gently snores.  I hear the coffee maker in the kitchen as it kicks on with a gurgle, then continues gurgling in a crescendo until it reaches its noisy climax.  A few minutes later the timed light in the kitchen comes on.  I hug Uni closer and one or both of us mutters, "Love ya."  Then I struggle out of bed to fetch our coffee.  We've been going through this routine for years.  It just doesn't get any better than this.  God is hgood1

As we look back over our lives of over 75 years and our nearly 60 years together, we marvel at how good our lives have been.  Yes, we've had a few bad experiences:  illness, most simply due to our age; some conflicts with people that were heart breaking, and the deaths of loved ones -- we each lost a sister just this year.  But all in all we've had it pretty good.  We've made it past the biblical 70 years and are now on our "extended warranty" (see also Psalm 90:10).

It would be easy to claim credit for all the good things in our lives.  We could claim it's all due to our clean living, diet and exercise, a positive mental attitude, a close spiritual walk with the Lord, etc., etc.  I suppose many in similar situations would do so.

But that would be a lie.  I've violated most of the rules at one time or another -- actually quite frequently.

And there are those who could make the same claims, whose lives have been total disasters.

There are many who didn't wake up this morning in pleasant circumstances like ours.  This past Sunday and Monday tornadoes struck just to the south and east of us.  Monday's monster twister that struck the city of Moore, OK is now claimed to be the costliest ever in terms of material damage.  Besides taking 24 lives it is estimated to have done two and a half billion dollars in damage.  That's incomprehensible.  It cut a swath two miles wide by 17 miles long.  We are constantly barraged with TV images that are still difficult to wrap our minds around.

And the destruction was indiscriminate.  The tornadoes did not distinguish between good and bad people between clean livers and dirty livers, between those who walk with the Lord and those who spurn Him.

So how can I say that God is good?  Should I revise that to "God is good to me"?  Should I add the qualifier "at least presently"?

We often ask, "Why do bad things happen to good people?  We also ask, "Why do good things happen to bad people?"  I suppose though that we really wonder why good and bad things seem to happen to good and bad people indiscriminately.

And then, I suppose our question might be, "Is God really good?"  Would I say He's good if I woke up in different circumstances?

I don't know what I'd say.  I do know that I can thank Him for all He's given me.

And I do know that in all the talk that's been going on, all the interviews conducted by TV reporters, we don't hear people question or blaming God.  Could it be that those who have suffered can somehow see God's goodness in and through all this?  It would seem so.

 

8 comments:

KenMullins said...

I like what R C Sproul said when he was asked Why do bad things happen to good people? His reply "It only happened once."

Canadian Atheist said...

Ken said: I like what R C Sproul said when he was asked Why do bad things happen to good people? His reply "It only happened once."

Not sure why that's a good reply. Maybe you could enlighten me, since it still happened.

But anyhow, Bill, it sounds like you have a happy marriage and gratz for that. I'm also very sorry for your losses. I enjoyed your post very much. It brought a smile to my face.

Bob M. said...

Like your Canadian atheist friend, I can't make head nor tails of R.C.Sproul's comment. If bad things happen more than once, is God less good?

Maybe Sproul is referring to the death of Christ?

But maybe I'm missing something.

Btw, your atheist friend often thinks clearly. I hope that one day he'll apply that clear thinking to the unspeakable gift we
have in Christ.

Bill Ball said...

I'm assuming that R C Sproul and Ken were both thinking of the crucifixion of Christ. If we believe (as I do) that every person is a sinner and that Jesus Christ was the only sinless man, then the statement is true.

If this is what is meant, however, it strikes me as extremely callous. The Bible authors themselves struggle as we do with the apparent injustice of "bad things" happening to relatively good people. The Book of Job among others attempts to deal with the problem and does not come up with a nice trite answer.

Canadian Atheist said...

Bill said: I'm assuming that R C Sproul and Ken were both thinking of the crucifixion of Christ. If we believe (as I do) that every person is a sinner and that Jesus Christ was the only sinless man, then the statement is true.

I suppose. It's also extremely callous by suggesting that everyone else deserved what happened to them and they weren't 'good'. The original person didn't ask 'why do bad things happen to sinless people' but merely 'good' people. In my opinion, it's another thoughtless comment by someone pretending to be wise when they'd be better of being quiet.

Bob said: Btw, your atheist friend often thinks clearly. I hope that one day he'll apply that clear thinking to the unspeakable gift we
have in Christ.

Thank you, Bob. I suppose weirder things have happened. :)

Network Ace said...

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Sherry Ball Schoenfeldt said...

I agree that good does not mean perfect. And I think Sproul's comment is thoughtless.

I have to say I struggle with suffering.
And hell.
(70 years of sinning punished by unending torture seems neither good or just to me)

However, I see in my own life that God is good.
I cannot reconcile the two.

Trent said...

I had a pastor I asked about Job once, and his answer was that although he could not satisfactorily explain why, he could say that if Job was asked now, he would say he was glad he had gone through it as the eternal rewards more then made up for persevering through it and would have a different perspective perhaps then when going through it. I thought that was a thoughtful response and helped me relax on this topic.