My oldest daughter lay beside me, breathing deeply and absorbed in the restful sleep of safety, trust, and contentment. Her small 8 year old body was snuggled in close to me as she slept.
I lifted my eyes toward heaven as a tear escaped.
Parenting is hard, especially when they don’t understand. Does she really believe that I have her welfare in mind?
Earlier in the evening she had approached me with bright excited eyes, “Look what I found Momma. Oh I love it! Look! Isn’t it great?”
My heart skipped a beat and sank a little. While the object itself isn’t important what it represented is. In my knowledge and understand I recognized it as an object of dark magic; a sinister representation of the Devil himself disguised as something cool.
She didn’t know. She didn’t understand.
I hesitated. Her bright eyes dimmed a bit and her brow furrowed slightly as she picked up on my lack of enthusiasm.
“I don’t think I can let you keep that, Sweet Pea,” I quietly said.
Why was I being hesitant? How could I explain it? It felt like I was crushing her and she had no idea why and that saddened me.
“I don’t wanna give it away! I want it. I love it!” Her voiced raised slightly and took on a desperate whine. “Why don’t you like it?” She continued as she clutched the object to her chest.
I was quiet. Was she ready to hear it? Could I help her understand? The darkness in this world is larger than she can imagine. Should I offer her a glimpse?
If I tell her…will it frighten her or empower her?
“We will discuss it later.” I told her as I set the table for dinner and bought myself some time to silently pray.
Later had come and gone.
I did my best to explain what the object represented in a way an 8 year old could, possibly, contemplate.
But she responded with, “I still don’t understand,” in a pouty voice.
“I’m sorry. It just has to be. We can’t keep it. We can’t have it in the house. I have to do my best to protect you. Daddy and I have to make hard choices to watch over you and your brother and sister. Please know that it is my job to protect you even when you don’t understand or agree.”
She nodded slowly as she considered my words.
“Do you believe that I will protect you? I have to protect you and do things to benefit you even if you don’t understand or like them. Do you believe me?”
She looked at me, sadness and moisture filled her eyes. “I believe you…but I still want it.”
I hugged her, “I know.”
She had said she believed me, but something in her eyes told me she wasn’t quite sure; the verdict was still out for consideration. In that moment, I began questioning my parenting skills; why was she not absolutely sure?
“Can I sleep with you?” She had asked hopefully.
She found comfort in my arms and fell asleep quickly. I did not.
“Let her believe me. Let her believe that I have her best in mind. Fill the gaps LORD…please fill the gaps.” I silently prayed.
Sometimes God responds with silence and I simply trust that He hears me, but tonight He responded quietly in the dark, “Do you see? Sometimes it is the same for Me. I have to take things away, or make choices to protect your heart and soul. Sometimes it’s hard. Often my Children do not understand. I can’t explain it in a way they will be able to. There are things you don’t know that I have to consider… Can you feel it now? Do you believe Me?”
I want to.
I want to believe Him when life is crappy and there seems to be no end in sight. I want to believe Him when tragedy strikes and sorrow overcomes my soul. I want to believe him when I see the horrors in this world…
I want to believe that He isn’t responsible and that He ultimately has our good in mind.
I do believe LORD.
I do believe that He is working for our good and not for our destruction but sometimes…it’s hard to see the good.
My next thought immediately followed His words to me…there IS someone hell bent on my destruction and it isn’t God.. The same someone I am trying to protect my own child against.
God isn’t then enemy who is guilty of horrors we can hardly whisper, Satan is. And, we live in a world overcome by him and his cronies. He seeks to destroy and he’s successful. It’s his only job: destroy by whatever means necessary.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
The good we do see, that is God. That is God at work in a world owned by a evil dictator who hates us.
There is war here as well. The war of God and His people lifting their voices, hearts, and souls against the spiritual attacks of a spiritual enemy.
Satan may be a worthy foe, but in the end he won’t be successful.
The idea that God is responsible for the bad in this world or that he has turned a blind eye is a lie. The Devil loves to blame God because he is a liar and a thief and a destroyer.
God is good.
He is responsible for the only good we see in this world. He has many attributes and goodness is an important one. One we need to recognize, because if He is good then He cannot be responsible for the evil that is here.
He isn’t turning a blind eye either and one day the Devil, who is responsible for all these horrors, will pay for it.
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the LORD.”
If we can believe that God is good, then like my daughter, we can rest in His arms and fall asleep in peace; because even when we can’t and don’t understand this world, or how God is at work…
When we can’t see any goodness or feel his presence…
We can still rest in the belief, knowledge and understanding that He is indeed good, and that He has our welfare in mind. That He really is working behind the scenes for the betterment of the one thing He cares most about…our souls.
He wants freedom, peace, love, contentment, hope and eternal life for our souls. That life, freedom and abundance is only found in Christ Jesus.
Maybe the question isn’t “is God REALLY good”…
Maybe it’s, do we trust Him?
Do we believe Him when He tells us that He is good?
Because, if we believe Him, it changes everything.
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable for you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
Author: Jacqi Kambish
This is the conclusion of a 4 part series about God. If you likes this post take a look at the others in the series: Is God REALLY Good?, Who is God? Part 1, Who is God? Part 2, and Who is God? Part 3 (Is God REALLY Good?)