Saturday, November 23, 2013

An ache that turned into goodness

Last week I had an ache.

It wasn't physical, it was in my heart. It was one of those things that is less than "pain" but more than "mild discomfort." I was doing okay on the outside but it followed me around on the inside. It had me a little down... sad.

Pain focuses things. It takes out the margins of life -- narrows the page. Let it run amok and it becomes hard to think about much else -- like when I stub my toe on the coffee table and while I'm rolling around on the carpet I can think of nothing else except, youch, THAT HURT.

Something else that is good: A dog tracking the sun spot across the carpet. 
Normally, I can fit the pieces that make up life's ups and downs into a bigger puzzle. When the sun is out and the sky is blue, I can dream. I pan across the timeline of my life, seeing past hurts in context and the future full of hope. But pain zooms me in. Instead of months, weeks, days... all I see the immediate. It's how I feel right now.

But this time, I wasn't going to let the pain win.

In the darkness, I knew I was being handed a ticket to take a ride. And this train was going to take me deeper into God's heart.

His good,



We are so myopic as humans – we live a tiny sliver of time and decide, based on a limited number of events, whether life is good or not. But I know that when I look back, in hindsight, I see that what I once thought was bad, wasn’t. In the fullness of time, I see goodness at work.

The bible says that everything good comes from God. God is the source of all love. To believe in God is to believe He is good. They go hand in hand.  

I don't know why awful things happen but I know there's evil at work in the world. God hates innocence lost. He points His wrath against those who cause His children harm. Deny God's wrath against evil and you also deny His ability to be good.

Deep down, lots of people in the church think God isn't good. Their prayers are pleas to an unkind God. 

"Don't you see what's happening here?"

"Can't you see that I've had enough?"

When we’re faced with something unexpectedly good we’re often left flummoxed. If a stranger were to pick up our restaurant tab, we catch ourselves thinking, “I would never do this therefore they must have hidden motivations. No one is this good.”

We’re tempted to process God’s actions the same way, to use our experience to judge God by our own motivations. We see everything through our humanity. We see life moment by moment. The hardest part in learning to trust in God’s goodness is learning to trust His ability to see beyond our circumstances.

This time, I chose to step back, to zoom out. I was hearing the opposite but I believed the truth that I couldn't yet see. 

The truth is simple: God is good and He's in control. 

And the rest of my life will be a journey into this ever unfolding, glorious fact.

- Andrew


  1. A really fine post, Andrew. Your mother and I were moved. Zooming out to look at things from God's viewpoint is important. Thank you for this.


  2. Hi Andrew
    Thank you for your honest process, it is inspiring and encouraging.
    I agree with you about the incredible goodness of God. He is so so so good every moment. I look forward to hearing about His goodness in and through you, Andrew, during your time in Ottawa.
    Much love Kim Cochrane