Today's post was written by pastor Rick Cowan. You can visit his website here.
It was quite a shock to find ourselves behind two air bags and atop a fallen traffic light last night. We reacted like any parents would, quickly checking to see if all the kids were OK (having to calm six shaken kids forces you to look past your own nerves!). Once we assessed the condition of our kids and realized they were all safe (apart from some seatbelt burns and a loose tooth), we began to praise God for his goodness.
This morning as I reflected on the accident I began to thank God for his goodness once again. Then it occurred to me. What if one of us were seriously hurt? What if one of my kids were taken away via ambulance? Would God not still be good? What determines God's goodness? Things going our way? Averting injury? What prompts us to thank him for his goodness?
The truth is, God's goodness exists outside of circumstance. It is not determined by what makes us feel good. God is good all the time. Not because our lives are pleasant all the time. Not because we get what we want all the time. No. God is good all the time because his goodness is an unchangeable aspect of his perfect character.
It was sobering this morning to search my own soul and consider, would I still be thanking God for his goodness if our accident had a less than happy outcome? I pray that I would.
It was right to thank God for his goodness yesterday, not simply because he kept us safe but because he is good no matter what he chooses to do. No matter the circumstance, God never violates his goodness. So, to thank God in this way is to affirm within our own hearts that God is good even when circumstances are bad.
After thinking on this a while this morning I began to consider -- "What then could have been a better prayer?" I began to thank God, not just for his goodness, but for his mercy. The truth is, we deserve nothing. Our sin condemns us to death. Yet God, by his mercy, chose to allow us to keep on living. I don't deserve life and I only live by his mercy.
Lamentations 3:22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. [KJV]
I am thankful for God's goodness, which is independent of any circumstance. I am also thankful for his mercy on undeserving men. I am thankful that God is unchanging and that no matter what happens we can be assured that he has violated none of his perfect attributes. He is the unchanging, unmovable Rock upon which we can build our lives.
Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. [KJV]