A few years ago Mike and I decided that we would choose 4 things individually and as a family to pray for each year. So just like the prior year, at the beginning of 2016, we talked about what we were going to pray for throughout the coming year. We prayed for general things and specific things, and we have seen God provide in more ways than we could ever hope. One prayer that was on my list, that was on my list last year as well, was to grow closer to God and to gain more understanding of who He is. Like last year, He answered in a way I didn’t expect.
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
When I’m on the mountain top, things are great, and I can clearly see His goodness, it is easy to say He is good. When Olivia was born, I wanted to say “God is good” for letting us parent this beautiful child, but something to me felt off in saying that. What a weird thought.
Why wouldn’t I want to say that God was good for allowing my child to enter the world?
In considering why it felt off to want to say that I realized that it was because He would be good anyway. In reflecting on my gaining new understanding on who He is this year, one of the things that sticks out to me is that I have seen over and over that He isn’t good because He does good things, but He is good because that is who He is. It may seem unfathomable that I can say that He was good even during the hard times, but last year when grieving the loss of a child through miscarriage, and the months that followed, we saw God’s goodness outshine our grief. His love was so tangible, and He showered His love on us so strongly that we had no doubts that He was with us and He is indeed good. Like the scripture above says, it was as if He had stored up His goodness for the days we were going through. He is good during the celebrations of life, and good in the mourning. He is good during the suffering, and good in the joys. He is good when spirits are poor, and good when hands are lifted in praise.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
2016 had its ups and downs, but when I look back I can see God’s goodness with us during every moment. I want to encourage you to consider 4 things that you want to pray for consistently in 2017. They can be as general or specific as you like, but write them down, and pray for them daily throughout the year. At the end of the year, reflect on the requests and see how He provided for you in immeasurably more ways than you can think or imagine. Keep praying. Keep seeking. Keep trusting that even “if not, He is still good.”
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever.