Lately, things have been going well for me and I’ve been seeing the Lord provide in obvious and tangible ways—it’s been truly amazing! He has gladly assuaged every fear or worry that I’ve had lurking around in the back of my mind. His help hasn’t been reluctantly given or in short supply. He has been reminding me who he is as a provider and it’s been an immense opportunity to trust him at a deeper level instead of feeling like I need to rely on myself.
But this funny little thought has been sneaking into my mind lately: When is it all going to go wrong?
While I’m so grateful for all of the good things he’s provided for me in this season, the immense favor that I’ve had at work and in business, and the relationships that are being developed now, I’m waiting for it to all go wrong. I’m waiting for the negative turn. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s like scarcity has been calling my name and telling me all of the reasons why I need to crawl back into that particular self-destructive hole.
It’s amazing how difficult it’s been for me to be truly joyful or celebratory in this season. It’s as if I’ve bought into this lie that if I’m too happy or embrace the good things in life too much then it will all be ripped from me—which is a pretty twisted way to live. There were a couple of weeks when I would cringe anytime I would get a text message, phone call, or email, all because I was certain that piece of communication was going to be the news of my bubble bursting. Fear had made its way back to the forefront of my mind and was holding tightly onto me.
But then I had to remind myself of a fundamental and unchanging truth: God is good. It’s such a simple statement but it’s the anchor that I’ve needed to move away from the ledge of paranoia that I was teetering on. I had to remind myself that the character of God is good and he doesn’t have an ounce of badness in him. More than just that, his goodness goes beyond just the things that he does or the good things he gives—he is good.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 (NIV)
God gives us good gifts not to fake us out or to pull the rug out from under us, but because he loves us. These good things in our lives aren’t out of an attempt to bribe us to change our behaviors, they are an act of kindness. And the good things are just things that should point us back to the giver of the gifts.
Some of us might get so focused on enjoying the good things that we forget that God gave us the gifts in the first place.
Others might get so focused on the good things being ripped away that we forget about our deep need for the Lord.
And others might be so focused on the good things we once had that we forget about the goodness of God today.
Whichever camp we currently find ourselves in, I believe we have an opportunity to examine our hearts and to draw even nearer to God. Whether things are good or bad in this season, we have an opportunity to worship and seek the Lord’s face. We can return to him not because of what he does or doesn’t do but purely because of who he is.
I’m currently learning the balance between being realistic and wise without being controlled by fear. I’m trying to focus on God’s goodness regardless of what I might perceive the future to bring. I think that living a life of faith means enjoying the good things of life without fear for tomorrow, while trusting that God’s goodness is true even when we find our circumstances to be sub-optimal.
When things are good, do you expect the worst? Or do you expect the good to last forever?
How do you practically focus on the goodness of God without getting caught up in the gifts he gives?