Here we go again
Setting up a new course of chemotherapy is rarely easy. It is not unusual for plans to change three or four times before the first infusion begins.
As I was leaving my time with Dr. Saroha and Courtney (NP), this was certainly true. Thanks to some elevated liver numbers (not good) caused by damage done to my liver in prior treatments, the plans had changed again.
I had a few appointments to cancel and many appointments to schedule. Due to scheduling issues, I did not see Dr. Saroha in my usual office. The woman sitting behind the desk sighed as she looked at the list of what needed to be scheduled. Then, she muttered, this is certainly a lot of work. After a few more comments about Courtney’s notes being unclear and the amount of work before her, she settled down and got to work scheduling my appointments.
It was not until I was safely at home that I thought of suggesting maybe she and I should trade places. I would do the scheduling, and she could do the eight months of chemo treatments. Sometimes the Spirit helps sensor me without me even knowing it.
Later that afternoon, I realized that she had deleted my most important appointment. So I got on the phone with my usual office and was greeted by a pleasant voice who quickly had things back in order.
God is Good All the Time; All the Time God is Good
More than words
I thought it might be wise to spend a few minutes explaining what I mean when I speak those words about God’s goodness.
Every time I speak them, I believe them to be true. Sometimes the words are expressed as a celebration. In other seasons they are a way of reminding myself of God’s character and what is important.
As we think about “goodness,” we have to be honest.
We are most likely to use the word in relation to something we desire. Anything that fulfills one of our myriad of desires is declared “good.”
The steak at dinner was good. That concert was good. A sexual experience was good. Time with family or friends was good. You get the idea. If something fulfills one of our desires, we are quick to declare it good.
Our desires are Fickle
The problem is our desires are fickle. We desire one thing this moment, something else the next. In fact, the object of our desires can turn into something very bad. A relationship we desired turns into heartache. The family gathering we longed to attend turned into a giant conflict. A great meal we desired lands us in the hospital with food poising.
We only have to look at our closets. They are filled with items we believed “good,” which now sit unused and ignored.
Our desires are fickle.
Sometimes the object of our desire is absolutely the worst thing for us. We believe something would be “good” for us, and we pursue it with every fiber of our being, blind to the truth that it will only cause us harm.
None of those realities have anything to do with how we speak about the goodness of God.
God is Good All the Time, All the Time God is Good
Declaring God good should be different from how you and I usually use that language.
“All the Time”
God’s goodness has little to do with our desires. God is good when things go according to our plan and when the world is crashing down around us. As I read the Psalmist’s words, it is clear that God’s goodness is often revealed in the darkest of times.
I am afraid we run into a problem when we only declare God good in response to receiving something we desire. We risk turning God solely into a giver of gifts and granter of wishes. Yes, God does answer prayers. Scriptures encourage us to bring all our cares and worries before God.
Yet I know my desires are fickle. One moment I want this. The next, I long for something else. There have been times when my desires were not in step with God’s best for my life.
I think of the times I desired something to change when there were great things ready to happen just around the corner. I would have missed so much if God had granted me every desire.
“God is Good”
God is good all the time! When I speak those words, I declare a truth that has nothing to do with my desires.
When life is going smoothly, and I am enjoying what this world has to offer, I speak them as a celebration of God’s many blessings.
There are other moments when I speak them to remind myself of what I believe to be true about God. In seasons where life is hard, it is easy to get down or depressed about what I am experiencing. Yet, in those moments, a declaration of the goodness of God has a way of reminding me that I will never walk alone.
When the why’s and how can this be’s start to swirl. As doubt begins to creep into my mind, the declaration serves like a flag or line in the sand. In the darkest of moments, I have experienced the goodness of God. No matter what comes my way, I do not want to forget the goodness of God.
Walking out of my appointment earlier this week, I reminded myself that God is Good All the Time, All the Time God is Good.
God is Good when your cancer is growing, and a new round of chemotherapy is starting.
God is Good when the person scheduling appointments is less than compassionate.
Reminding myself of God’s goodness gave me the strength to face all that is not good in this world.
God is Good All the Time
The second edition of my book, The Journey Continues is now available on Amazon.