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December 14, 2015

Is God Really Good?

In the Garden God created a place with extraordinary beauty, lush and plentiful food for the animals, and humans made in His image to live in relationship with Him and His creation in perfect unity. But in Genesis 2:16 we find God giving this command to Adam,

“You are free to eat from any tree in the Garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

You notice God did not say “if” you eat of it, but “when” you eat of it. Why? Because they had a relationship with Him that was based on provision, but that had to be tested to see if it had strength to trust and believe He loved them enough to care for every need they would have – was God truly good?

Satan saw the unity of God with His created humans and knew to break that he must create doubt of God’s goodness. To cause them to question if God had their backs in every area or if God was He holding out. Could they handle not knowing some things and trust HE could take care of that unknown? Eve believed Satan’s lie. Adam was afraid of what that meant. Both ate. Satan was victorious in creating doubt of God’s goodness.

BUT GOD was not finished. He saw they would fall and had the plan of salvation and restoration set in place, before one bite was taken. You see, because He knew they would, doesn’t make Him wrong or evil. Let’s not place that at God’s feet. He gave every good gift, a relationship of walking with and talking with God in the Garden, and they doubted His goodness. THEY doubted. HE was lovingly ready to implement the plan that He had made ready for that doubt and fall.

That is what He allows so they could see He was truly good, not just because He said so.

All of history from that point to today, is filled with murder, rape, wars, deceitfulness, slander, gossip, hatred, bitterness, etc. Every one allowed by God. Why? Because He loves to see us destroy each other? Because He is mean and wants to watch us suffer? Because He does not have the power to change it or save us? NO!

It happens because we chose other than Him from the Garden to the present day. WE chose to be our own gods, feeding our own appetites and desires. He allows us to feel the consequence of sin, so that we will see the beauty of a Savior who has always had a plan and executed the plan to perfection, offering us salvation from ourselves – our terrible sin nature and its affect on others.

Now I am not saying He allowed me to be abused because I sinned and deserved to be abused. God is not evil. He is just. Yet how will I take the Gospel of a crucified and risen Savior to a lost and hurting world, if I know nothing of their pain or do not understand the journey from woundedness to wholeness myself, offering His very beauty for their ashes. I am broken by sin, was broken by being sinned against, and responded sinfully in my wounding, not believing God was good, doubting His love, and not trusting His desire to make me whole again. He showed Himself beautiful by showing me His wounded hands and side. He suffered at the hands of sinful people to justly pay for and save those very sinful people. It has been a rescue mission to restore the relationship lost in the Garden when doubt entered and all was seemingly lost.

God’s story is a story of pursuit. Mankind ran away, believing God was not good. BUT GOD sprinted after us, throughout history, to show us who He is, what He has planned, how He made us for Himself and that we are only most satisfied and fulfilled in HIM. Brokenness – in us and in others – makes us look up. It causes us to know we need Him. To desperately seek His heart. To allow Him to heal and restore in the midst of a broken world, with the promise of a world without sin to those who truly believe He is good and are basing their eternity on it in Christ.

He is good. That He offered Christ as a sacrifice in our place when we were yet rebellious sinners proves it. He did not have to do this. He did not fail US in the Garden. WE failed HIM! My brokenness and restoration to Himself, healing from the inside out, is an undeserved miracle of His loving-kindness. He is my Father. He wants me to know He is good, righteous, just. He pursued me to rescued me from my fears, doubts, distrust so that I could see that with HIS eyes, believe HIM with all my heart, and share that with others wounded by Satan’s lies, lost in darkness, needing the light of God’s love.

Where are you in this journey? How can I pray for you? How can I help you process your wounds so you too can see the beauty of His loving-kindness in Christ and find beauty for your ashes? Please let me know.

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