One of the fruits of the spirit that gets less acknowledgement is… goodness. Like all fruits, it lives inside us.
In the months during my husband’s battle with cancer the significance of the meaning of goodness was shared with us by a wonderful wise man of God. God’s word states that…. God works out all things for His good, to those who love Him. (My paraphrase) The “Good” here… actually means… Christ in us… the hope of glory.
Goodness has never looked the same since the passing of my husband. God IS so good, truly. I have dipped my toes in its ocean, walked knee deep in its blessings and had waves crash in and cover me with overwhelming abandon to its power. But there are so many people (myself included at times… I am human) who wonder… if God is so “good,” why did He allow cancer, pain and death? Friends, please understand goodness prevails, because Christ’s love is forever. We must persistently ask God to help us understand its true meaning, sometimes daily or even moment by moment. He will be faithful to reveal His Son.
It was humanities poor, selfish, choices (our loving God having given us a freewill) that ushered in the consequences of sin. Every human since that choice, to turn on their loving creator, has paid the price of it, with disease, pain, tears, sickness, death and the constant battle inside ourselves to do the right thing.
Goodness (Christ in us) holds every tear as precious, because someday there will no longer be tears. And for those who know and love Him, goodness always heals disease, sickness and pain, but sometimes… that only happens in heaven. “Earth has no sorrow Heaven cannot heal.” Goodness, provides friendships and fellowship in the midst of pain, to help us see His face, arms and feet here on earth, a frail and broken place. And, goodness reminds us… death has no sting in the light of eternity’s hope.
This is the goodness of God’s love… in my life. As I ponder goodness and the ever present struggle to understand God’s plan in this painful loss…. I have to come back to who I am becoming in it. A transformation is happening deep within my very soul. For now I am wrapped in the confines of a grief cocoon of bitterness, anger, frustration, depression, agony, hopelessness, defeat, denial, listlessness, brokenness, transition, lifelessness, pain, discouraging behaviors, no energy, faithlessness etc. But the question on my very soul… “is all this who I am and what I want to become/be defined as? Or can I visit these as places I am for now and walk through those feelings, addressing their existence and significance in the process, and then leave them as just that… TEMPORARY feelings experienced because of excruciating circumstances beyond my control?” Each one being normal, each one healthy to have and each one NOT a definition of who I am… ever. An experience not a definition. I have to repeat that to myself, over and over and over again. I am not defined as… broken, but rather I am opened up by the brokenness so that God’s light can be poured out from me. I am not bearing a personality trait of faithlessness, my faith is just as small as a mustard seed… and that is all it takes just now. I am not hopeless, because there is still hope, the hope of glory and this is something to live for. I am not defined as depressed, I am temporarily visiting there and it draws me closer to my Father in heaven, because God’s power is made perfect in my weaknesses.
I am, however, defined as… a child of the most high King of Heaven, an heir because of salvation and redemption. I am precious, I am the apple of His eye, I am asked to shine like the stars in the heavens. I am a simple clay vessel cracked and scarred defined by healing and pouring out what He gives me. I am designed with purpose and He has a plans for my life.
All this to say friends who hurt, you are NOT your feelings, you are beloved and cared deeply for, both by a loving God and His beloved Son, our Savior. Choose what you want to be defined as.