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Is God ALWAYS good?

     Yesterday I accidentally bumped Avonlea's head against a huge glass door.  She is only two months old and I felt like the world's worst mom.  She cried harder than she's ever cried.  I was so scared.  She got a small "egg" on the side of her head, but everything was fine the rest of the day.  I put her to bed around 7:00 and she slept through the night.  This morning at 6:30 I still hadn't heard a peep.  She usually sleeps 10 hours, not 12.  When I realized what time it was I got a horrible feeling in my stomach and my knees got weak.  I'm sure she's fine I told myself.  Yesterday was just crazy busy.  While trying to decide if I should open the door and wake her up, quite a few thoughts ran through my head.  What if she isn't ok? What if she's gone?    Would all this "counting gifts" stuff be over?  Would I still believe that God is good?  That He is a Pourer of Blessings?
     I've watched people suffer.  I've stood next to my best friend as we both peered down into the coffin of her precious one year old daughter.  I didn't understand how hours earlier, at her own daughters funeral, she could raise her hands up to the Lord and sing out "yes Lord, yes Lord" as she accepted what  He had allowed.  Even though I was a believer, I thought - it will hit her one day.  I doubted that she would be able to hold on to her amazing faith and gorgeous ear to ear smile.  I was wrong.  She and her husband Ken, remained true to the Lord and now they are working side by side with their 3 children delivering the gospel in Nicaragua.  Until recently, I thought there is no way I could make it through something like that.  I thought - God only gives us what we can handle and I couldn't handle that.  Praise God, I still haven't had to (Avonlea is fine).  But, for the first time in my life, my perspective is changing.  Now that my eyes are opening to the continual, unending blessings of God, I think that I would be able to cling on to Him and know that He is love.  That He will get me through.  That He genuinely will work all for good.  Even as I am typing this, I am hoping, begging that I won't have to.  But I am beginning, just barely, to experience security in Him.  I know that no matter what He will continue to give, He is always giving.
   I wish that I could summarize my favorite chapter in One Thousand Gifts (what in the world, in all this world, is grace?), but it is so full and deep that the best I can do is copy a few quotes...

"Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don't numb themselves to really living."

"If I am numbering gift moments, what moments count as blessings?  If I name this moment as gift, grace, what is the next moment? Curse?  Do I believe in a God who rouses Himself just now and then to spill a bit of benevolence on hemorrhaging humanity? A God who breaks through the carapace of this orb only now and then, surprises us with a spared hand, a reprieve from sickness, a good job and a nice house in the burbs-and then finds Himself again to impotent to deal with all I see as suffering and evil? "

 Job 33:13 "For God does speak-now one way, now another."
"One way, His finger writing words in stars (Psalm 19:1-3), His eternal power written naked in all creation (Romans 1:20);and now another way, the sharp Holy Writ on the page  that makes a careful incision into a life, blade words that kindly cut the tissue back to where soul and spirit join, tenderly laying bare the intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)."

"Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the world, because The Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper.  "I know.  I know"

 "...a shadow is, an empty space - a hole in the light.
"... Above the clouds, light never stops shining"

"I won't shield God from my anguish by claiming He's not involved in the ache of this world and Satan prowls but he's a lion on a leash and the God who governs all can be shouted at when I bruise, and I can cry and I can howl and He embraces the David-hearts who pound hard on His heart with their grief and I can moan deep that he did this - and He did."

"I feel Him hold me - a flailing child tired in Father's arms.  I can hear Him soothe soft "Are your ways My ways, child?  Can you eat My manna, sustain on my mystery?  Can you believe that I tenderly, tirelessly work all for the best good of the whole world - because My flame of love for you can never, ever be quenched?"


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