New Insight Into The Goodness of God!!


            This has been a most unusual summer for my wife, Pat and me.  On the heels of her graduation from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University with a Masters of Christian Education and having facilitated two successful training sessions of Spiritual Gifts at City Temple, she was diagnosed as having contracted a bacterial infection which was in her blood.  The infection eventually settled in the area of her hip and the pain was so severe that for two weeks she lay flat on her back in the Greater Baltimore Medical Center unable to so much as raise her head from her pillow without experiencing the most excruciating pain I have ever witnessed.

            After two weeks of treatment with antibiotics and pain medication, she was transferred to a rehabilitation center where for almost four weeks she went through painful rehabilitation in order to regain her ability to sit up, stand up and walk.  She was then released to come home while remaining on antibiotics administered intravenously, pain medication taken orally, physical therapy given twice and week and walking with the aid of a walker.  It wasn’t until she returned to the doctor for her first visit after coming home that we were given an indication of the severity of her illness.  I have no words that can begin to capture or describe the degree of pain I witnessed my wife endure during this ordeal.  What I can say is that I would not wish this kind of pain on any living creature.  I understand better now the concept of pain management:  there is pain that can be relieved and there is pain that is so severe that, at best, can only be managed.  Pat’s pain was managed.

            There is an image I have regarding this entire event that will forever be engraved in my being.  From time to time, persons would come by to visit Pat and I am almost certain that most were not aware of the degree of her pain.  But I noticed that at some point in her conversation with her visitors she would say, “God Is Good!!”  It never failed that those words were spoken by her at some point, no matter the conversation, no matter the pain she was experiencing.  And the more I heard her say those words, the clearer it became to me that she was not going to allow this pain or this illness to diminish her spirit, to cause her to lose her sense of self, to even take away from her that remarkable ability she has to listen to the needs and the concerns of others.  She was forever reminding anyone and everyone who would listen that “God Is Good!”

            Obviously her understanding of the goodness of God has little to do with avoiding pain, getting around troubles or instantaneous healing.  Rather it has to do with God’s willingness to be with us in our pain to share our pain; it has to do with God being present to assure us and strengthen us when we cannot reassure or strengthen ourselves; it has to do with the mysterious way God will use others who show up and, without their even knowing it, say a word that makes all the difference in the world.  God’s goodness may be found more not in the reality that He shows up and does the spectacular, but in the reality that His showing up can be in so many ordinary ways that we just might miss Him.  Maybe the real point is that the goodness of God is that never fails to show up and be with us no matter where we find ourselves in this life and what we find ourselves having to endure.


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