Today may be rough, but God is good, all the time
Several years ago, I shared one of my more embarrassing moments with our Sunday evening congregation. I locked my keys in my car. In all of my years of driving, and of all the other dumb things I’ve ever done, I’ve prided myself in the fact that I’ve never locked my keys in my car (I have to admit I’ve done it one other time since). I always make sure that I have my keys in my hand or in my pocket before I close the car door. The crazy thing was, I didn’t just lock my keys in the car. I also left the motor running.
I was preaching the funeral of a long-time member of my former church. The family and I had gathered at the funeral home for prayer, and then I went ahead of the family to the church to check on last minute details. When I drove into the parking lot, I had my mind on catching up with the minister of music and making sure we had our order of service together. I pulled into the parking space, threw the car into park and hopped out of the car. As soon as I shut the door, I started feeling my pockets and realized that I didn’t have my keys.
And then I thought, “Is that car still running?”
Suddenly my mind was no longer on the funeral message. I was wondering how in the world I was going to get into the car and how long the gasoline would hold out. I had not planned to spend the whole day in North Georgia. I told one of the funeral home workers what I had done and asked him to be thinking with me about how we could solve my dilemma.
The funeral started and in the middle of the congregation singing “Because He Lives,” another funeral home employee came into the foyer, caught my attention on the podium and held up my keys. A wave of relief swept across me and I went “Yes!” right in the middle of the verse that goes, “And then one day we’ll cross the river, I’ll fight life’s final war with pain.” Now I could get in the funeral spirit.
Someone said there’d be days like this. When little irritations and inconveniences come into our lives, or when major adversity surfaces, we need to remember that today may be bad, but God is good. The Psalmist wrote, “You are good, and what you do is good . . .” (Psalm 119:68). God gives us His comfort and strength to deal with life’s tough times. God is good all the time.
God also uses these tough experiences to teach us and to grow us spiritually. Psalm 119:71 reads, “It was good for me to be afflicted, so I might learn your decrees.” Afflictions are good teachers. God grows our character and strengthens our faith as we lean on Him and learn from Him. God wants to make us strong and He uses the aggravations that come our way to produce spiritual maturity.
The next time hardship comes your way, let God teach you, and as you persevere, remember, God is good, even when today is not going the way we’d choose.
Plus, we need to remember to trust God in good times and in bad. He’s on His throne. He is God and we are not, so let’s let Him handle what we can’t.
Annie Johnson Flint was crippled and twisted most of her life with arthritis, yet out of her ordeal of protracted pain, she developed a sensitivity that helped her encourage others who found themselves in hard times. She wrote:
God has not promised skies always blue,
Flower strewn pathways all our lives through.
God has not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
God has not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift easy travel, needing no guide.
He has not promised we shall not bear,
Many a burden, many a care.
But God has promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Ga. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to join them for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. each Sunday. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.