I stood at the sink. Hands wrist deep in suds. Tears streaming down my face. Heart conflicted. On one side, grace, mercy and blessings beyond measure. On the other, grief, pain, dreams unfulfilled. There was no choice but to wrestle with them both.
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV)
I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with God. Psalm 27:13-14 (MSG)
I poured out my heart. The longings that are not buried as deep as I think they are. The dreams of my soul that are rarely admitted out loud. The heart-soreness that is skin deep and always present. It all came gushing forth. Not in bitterness but just statements. Not in questioning His presence but in the wonder and hurt of pain. I am so grateful I have a God who listens.
I laid my heart bare. I needed the reminders of who my God is.
He is good. Full stop. No change. Regardless of circumstance. Even with the current state of my dreams and longings, He is good. His goodness does not ebb and flow but rather it is constant.
He is faithful. Full stop. He does not change His mind. He does not tire of me. He does not throw up His hands in despair over me. He is there in every part of the journey. The parts I love and am proud of and the ones I’d rather hide away in the darkest of cupboards.
He is present. Full stop. I might pick the spots where I show up. My God is not like that. Instead, He is there for all of it. A constant presence. With me in all of it – the tears both happy and joyful. The happy bits and the ones filled with sorrow. He does not come and go at will. He is with me.
Through tears coursing their way down my face, I chose to speak the truth of who my God is. I needed to hear myself say it. He is the One I need. I crave His presence. I am desperate to experience His ongoing faithfulness. I hunger to see His goodness. Somehow, speaking the truth over my life altered my perspective.
The pain of the unfulfilled is still there. But even more than that, my God is there. At times I have great confidence in His presence and provision. Sometimes, that foundation has gaping holes and water rushes in. But I know the sandbags of God’s goodness are there. Shoring up the weak spots. Preventing the water from spilling over even more. His goodness is on display if I am persistent enough to look for it. To pursue it. It requires a “don’t quit.” Admittedly, I would like to quit. The middle is hard. It is uncomfortable. It hurts. But my God understands the middle parts and the pain. He is good. He is faithful. He is present. I need no more, no less.
Pat Barrett’s Sparrows and Lilies