A few years back my wife and I were setting roots in a community we loved. We bought the house (a dream house, for a STEAL), I was applying to grad school again to get another masters in order to get more education in the field I was working in, and I was settling in to work at a quite enjoyable job for the long haul. I was so confident we were staying where we were that I took the extra step of paying to renew my car tags for two years instead of the usual one. Finally, in our thirties, we had the sweet illusion of permanency, security, and stability on earth.
But something didn’t seem to settle in my heart, so I met with some friends to pray about it. Long story short, by the end of that prayer meeting, I was 95% sure I was supposed to quit my job with nowhere to go, not even a clue as to what I was supposed to do next.
I cannot recommend this for everyone, but after counseling with a few close and trusted advisors who knew us well, my wife and I went for it. I turned in my resignation, and began the process of seeking God on what in the world I was supposed to do next.
For the most part, this process was not too scary. God convicted me that I was to pray and lay all my cares on Him in such a way as to actually allow the “peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding” to guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. In other words, even if I had no clue what I was doing, I knew I just had to trust God and let Him take care of the details on what I would do next. If I refused to trust Him, my mind and heart would NOT be defended, and that was a place I did not want to be.
There was, however, one night where I more or less panicked. Everything that could go wrong started racing through my mind. I could feel the fright emotionally and physically. The what ifs abounded. What if… God doesn’t rescue? …I was following my own whims instead of God? …my family and I go hungry? …I wreck our finances as a result of a possibly careless move? I remember walking into the upstairs bathroom without even turning on any lights just to hide my panic-stricken face from my family.
Nothing outwardly spiritual happened that night. As I recall, I was just staring at the bathtub when a thought came to me: “I am good.” It was just a passing thought that came and went in an instant, but it was as if God was putting bedrock into my soul. The best I can liken it to is when God quickly passed by Moses on Mount Sinai:
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…”
As the old song goes, “God is so good.” I almost hate to say that without clarifying what I mean. Consider how we can hear the phrase, “God is infinite,” but we can’t really know what that means. We merely have a word to describe a concept, not the actual grasping or ability to see, feel, or hold the tremendous scope that “infinite” means.
His goodness is likewise infinite. It just cannot be comprehended or grasped. To call Him “good” is a massive understatement. Any true understanding we have of it must go beyond just learning a philosophical concept, or of feeling even great depth of emotion.
There must be impartation of the reality of His goodness to our hearts, even if we will be feeding off of and growing in this impartation for the rest of our lives. This is part of what it means to know Him. We cannot grasp the complete scope of Him who is Infinite, Ultimate Truth, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t be introduced to Him and then get to know Him better, little by little.
This is my testimony (what I have witnessed with my own eyes, my firsthand account!) of having been backed against a wall and having to trust He was good.
As much as we find any ounce of power within ourselves to not choose despair or anxiety, we must do so. Repeatedly, we must fight against such things, whether they are internal emotions or external demons. We have to instead choose Christ, His joy, His peace, and His goodness. And where we find ourselves lacking ability to make such choices, we must pray for the strength to do so, for the strength to overcome by the love of Christ that makes us more than conquerors.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may about in hope.” - Romans 15:13.
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” - Psalm 27:13-14