Before I get to the point of this post, I need to share some of the background thoughts that have led to this moment of awareness.
As a nurse, although my practice dates decades, I have a distinct memory of learning various assessment techniques. In each case, the placement of the measurement tool is critical. The blood pressure cuff only works when applied correctly. The stethoscope needs to be placed directly over the area of concern.
I imagine most professions learn early in their experience that a measurement is of no value if it isn’t anchored to a secure starting point.
These observations would be too obvious to even write if it were not that they have been helpful to me in an area of spiritual struggle.
My confession is that when worship songs passionately declare that God is good and He never lets you down, I still secretly ponder, “I know He is good and He never lets you down, but I have a brutal picture in my memory of a time when He wasn’t good and He did let me down”. (For those of you who know my story, you will know this is the memory of the brutal death of my friend. For those of you who don’t know my story, this refers to a time when I trusted, really trusted, that my prayers for mercy would be answered in a way I could understand.)
I expect some of you are thinking, “This happened a year and a half ago. Why is she still talking about it?” For this I don’t apologize because it is my honest experience. Last week the grief I thought I had processed came crashing back. That’s my reality.
So, Sunday in corporate worship, I engage in my internal mental dance. I try to push myself into celebrating that God is good and never lets me down. When the picture of this 36 years of unrelenting suffering, that led to a brutal death, comes crashing into my consciousness ,I say to myself, “ I have to choose to trust what God says about Himself and not what I saw happen.”
I surrender my understanding, laying it on the alter, and in its place, embrace His promises. I’ve done this for a long time and it works, to a point, but it is a lot of work.
Then, this Sunday, my spirit encountered a new question. “When you question My goodness (the question was asked gently, knowing I knew that my questioning His goodness was a secret I didn’t even want Him to know), are you measuring in the right place?”
Suddenly, I realized that my struggle to celebrate His goodness was located in the blood stained mobile home where it felt like He left me. Together we moved to the blood stained cross, and He asked me to do my measuring there.
New Reading: My friends Victory was won before her struggle began.
Where do you go to measure God’s goodness?