In summary, from a reading by Catherine of Genoa, Richard Foster wrote that Catherine not only loved God, but also she loved God’s ways. That phrase struck me. Truly loving God means loving God’s ways.
However, loving God’s ways is not an easy task. I think the biggest reason that unbelievers reject God is because they cannot accept God’s ways. They cannot accept that a loving God would permit so much suffering in the lives of those He loves. For them, there either needs to be another explanation, or they are not interested in knowing the kind of God that allows the atrocities that exist in this universe He created.
Obviously, I have somehow gotten beyond that block to loving God. I don’t understand how much suffering there is in this world, but I do feel so touched by God and His love for me that I know He is good in spite of the evil that exists in this world. The suffering that I see does not lead me to conclude that God is a bad god and doesn’t love me beyond comparison to any love I have ever experienced on this earth. The question is, Do I love God’s ways? After walking with Him for forty years, I can honestly say that I do indeed love God’s ways better in these latter days of knowing Him than ever before.
The suffering of the innocent is mind-blowing in many ways, but it is not faith-blowing for me. I have faith in the goodness of God that is a foundation of my relationship with Him. Therefore, when horrible things are happening to the ones I love, and the ones I know are seeking Him in deep and meaningful ways, I don’t doubt God’s goodness anymore. Julian of Norwich wrote, “When the end comes and we are taken for judgment above, we will then clearly understand in God the mysteries that puzzle us now. Not one of us will think to say, Lord, if it had been some other way, all would be well. We shall all say in unison, Lord, bless you because it is the way it is. It is well. Now we can honestly see that everything is done as you intended; you planned it before anything was ever made” (Showings). Julian is one of those who not only loved God, but she also loved God’s ways.
The angels in Revelation show me this reality too. Revelation 16:5-7 says,
“Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve. And I heard the altar respond: Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”
This point in Revelation is the description of great suffering being poured out on earth by God. The angel who was executing God’s will of suffering could not hold back commenting on the goodness of God. After that angel spoke, all the angels joined him in agreement that God is indeed true and just.
Do you agree with the angels? Has your heart come to know His love so much that you can say that His ways are good?