This week marks the 5th anniversary of Grant’s death, an anniversary of sorts, that no one ever wishes to endure. Five years! Somedays it feels like we lost him just yesterday, and other days it feels like he’s been gone forever!
I haven’t written on here for almost 3 years. So why now? Why 5 years after losing him do I feel compelled to write one last time? Grant died in a tragic and horrific way. The circumstances surrounding his death, were not his fault. So what is there left to say?
This! 5 years in, I still declare, God is good! He is always good. He is good to love us first while we are still sinners. His goodness provides a way for our redemption, and His grace and mercy are boundless. He is good to call us home to an eternity of Glory, that we do not deserve, nor could we ever earn. He is good for these reasons and countless others, that can be found in His word.
But I also feel compelled to share this. We as believers, must be very careful not to attach God’s goodness to our earthly circumstances, when things are going our way. So often I hear Christians say things like, “My husband got the job, God is good.” Or perhaps, “We’re having a baby, God is good.” And while I agree whole-heartedly those things are earthly gifts and blessings that come from the Lord, we must guard against the mindset that they are THE evidence of God’s goodness. Would God have been good even if the husband didn’t get the job? Would He still be good even if you cannot have children of your own? Is God still good, even in the light of Grant’s death? The answer is yes, as is revealed in the word of God, but His goodness is not measured by those things.
I think if we’re being honest, however, most of us would be hesitant to proclaim His goodness in circumstances, in which things don’t go our way or go in a direction that seems horrific. But His goodness is not merely attached to our earthly circumstances. His goodness is outside of what happens to us here on Earth and is found in Him and in Christ’s work on the cross, on our behalf. As believers, I think it is paramount to remember that, and make certain that truth is reflected in our speech and mindset, so we do not doubt God’s goodness when bad things happen to us. In this fallen world, good and bad will befall us all at some point. Life is hard, but God is greater and He is good! He is always good, despite the circumstances that surround our lives.
I think knowing this truth, before hardship or tragedy comes our way, is so crucial. It helps prevent us from unintentionally drawing a parallel between earthly circumstances and God’s ultimate goodness. It would be a dangerous thing to look only to circumstance to evaluate the goodness of God. In doing so, our faith can be shaken to its very core when bad things happen! I had to write one more time for precisely this reason; to encourage us all to never attach the goodness of God to earthly circumstances alone, but rather look to God himself, and what has been done on the cross, to evaluate that goodness.
When good things happen, I think now more in terms of gratefulness rather than God’s goodness. I may say something like, “My husband got the job and I am so grateful for it.” Or perhaps, “My husband got the job, and we are humbled by the opportunity he’s been given.” This may seem silly and petty, only an issue of verbiage, buy I truly believe it goes much deeper.
In the situations described above, God is indeed still good, but is it hard to see? I think most of us, if we are being honest, would say yes. But that is because most of us determine the goodness of God by what is happening in our lives. So I think changing our mindset and verbiage to reflect truth, is crucial. There is a quote that goes something like this, “In all of life we are either headed into a trial, in the midst of a trial, or just getting through a trial.” This isn’t Heaven, it’s a fallen world where bad and horrible things happen. It’s hard to think about that but it’s truth. But it is also true, regardless of what circumstances we find ourselves in, here on Earth, God is good, He is always good. His ways are not our ways, but that doesn’t detract from God’s goodness. I will never understand why Grant had to die, but that doesn’t negate God’s goodness. God’s goodness was never attached to the life or premature death of our beloved son! God’s goodness is found in His holiness, omniscience, and perfect love alone!
Grant, we miss you more than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow. And yet, God is good…