If I really believed that, I might not get so fixated on myself. It is a daily struggle to become convinced of the goodness of God. That was the original temptation. Adam and Eve doubted God’s goodness.
It has become easier for me to realize that God is in control of the world He created—in that He has a plan that could not be overcome by evil, and He promises that there will be a day when He rids the heaven and earth that He created of all evil. I believe in that truth more and more as I see the ways He has rid some of the evil in me. I know He is wise and mysterious.
I don’t doubt that God loves me. Have you met me? Even though I fail to obey all I know that God asks of me, I receive daily encouragement. He knows me. He knows that I want to obey. He gives all the help I will open myself up to in order to obey. It would be hard to convince me that God does not love me as His dearly beloved child. I almost have that one down.
I think that God is good. I can tell others that God is good. But how do I surrender to His goodness?
Lately, I have been praying the Lord’s Prayer first thing when I get out of bed. Interestingly, I get as far as: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done” until my mind drifts off into a different direction. I space out and later wonder to myself: “Did you finish the Lord’s Prayer?”
This has helped me to realize my struggle to fully live by the truth that God is good. If I had this reality—the goodness of God that Jesus gave us words to direct our minds to conclude—I would think differently through my day. I would want to remain in contact with God and not miss out on any of His goodness contained in the rest of the day. I envy Adam and Eve that they had a time when they did not struggle to delight in God’s goodness before sin. What was it like for them to see only goodness in the world and connect that goodness only to God? They didn’t need His presence or miracles or extraordinary encounters to deeply bask in the goodness of God. For me, it is a struggle to remain transfixed on God’s goodness. Instead, I follow my own plan to extract goodness in my day. I start with a cup of coffee and a desire to connect with my husband in order to feel good about myself. I consider all that I can get done today as if I know what is most needed.
I find the first paragraph of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray as an enlightening remedy for my struggle to see the goodness of God restored. This prayer reminds me that God loves me. It testifies that His love is so expansive that no one is left out. When I pray “Our Father,” I am testifying to my Spirit the expansiveness of God’s amazing love for us His children. “Hallowed be Thy name” convicts my soul about the utter, unimaginable, holiness that is God. I remember that I have no idea what it must be like to be God. I can’t even imagine what holiness feels like. The furthest my mind can conceive is to repeat a crazy word like “Hallowed” and hope that I am acknowledging a part of His goodness because Jesus gave me that word.
When I remain connected to what God’s will is and how to commit to His will for this particular day is a litmus test as to how much I really believe in the goodness of God. By the time I leave the house I’ve forgotten His goodness and set out using my own goodness to navigate traffic and plunge into my tasks of Christian ministry. Paul describes what I am struggling to live out in Romans 12:1-2: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.