Is God good?

A recent comment, words of encouragement.

“You will again call God good.”

Pause for reflection.

I’ve cried out in anguish with a sorrow so deep there were not words to attach to the prayer. I’ve cried out in anger over sliced hot dogs, snipped drawstrings and safety fences that in the end were not enough to spare my little boy from a terrible accident. I’ve wrestled with why. Why? Why isn’t my little boy here, asleep in his little bed with his bottom in the air and a car tucked under his arm?

But did I ever stop calling God good?

I think of recent conversations, Facebook statuses and Twitter updates with others extolling the virtues of God.

“Car needs over a thousand dollars worth of work. Didn’t know how we were going to afford it. Then we did our taxes and the money we’re getting back covers it almost exactly.

Isn’t God amazing?

“Had lots of errands. Forgot to fill the tank. Low fuel light came on as we came into a part of town where I did not want to stop. Ran out of gas, coasted down a hill, into a gas station and right to the pump.

Isn’t God faithful?”

“Hubby got the job! After over a year, our savings held out and he got the job!

Isn’t God good?”

Pause for reflection.

What about when things don’t turn out so well?

As I knelt on the floor, the weight of a dresser on my back, trying to keep my son’s head and neck straight as I rolled him to his side so he wouldn’t aspirate on his own vomit . . .

{Was God amazing?}

As I stood shaking in the ER, wanting to be with him (needing to be with him), terrified of being in the way as I heard them trying over and over and over to get him intubated . . .

{Was God faithful?}

And, only minutes after a nurse had told us he would be in room 201, went over the use of the respite rooms, admonished us to be strong for him, as the surgeon came in and told us he couldn’t save our son . . .

{Was God good?}

It isn’t really something we post to Facebook quite like that, but even in tragedy, God is amazing. He is faithful. He is good. Because His character is not dependent on my circumstances. He has done many wonderful things in my life, but His character is not revealed through my wealth nor through my safety nor through my comfort.

His character is revealed through the cross.

And as I think of my son crushed, his skull broken, his form lifeless, I can think of only one thing.

Our Father did it willingly. For me. For you. For the world He loved so much He gave His only begotten son.

Happy Easter.

About Dana

Dana homeschools her children on five acres in the country with her husband John.
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134 Responses to Is God good?

  1. Ruth says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your deep anquish and extreme faith. You put me to shame. We are so unworthy for the Lamb that was slain… Thanks for sharing what you have so horribly had to witness, but I thank you for staying so strong for all of us and showing such a great witness.

  2. Shilo says:

    I have thought about this very subject so many times in the last few months. Thank you for this beautiful post.

  3. Melinda says:

    Dana,

    I thought of you and Tiggy tonight at our Easter vigil mass. Particularly at the moment after the 19 baptisms when the congregation renewed our own baptismal vows. I thought about your words here in this post. I thought about a Savior whose acceptance of His own death ensures that you will hold Tiggy close again. There is a moment in our Catholic Mass, again after baptisms, when we are all invited to our beautiful baptismal font ( it is huge and covered in beautiful Irish marble and mosaics) and dip our hands in the holy water and cross ourselves. We always sing the same song, Come to the Water. It is so beautiful. It speaks to the God’s willingness to be everything we need, if we only will come to Him. The last verse builds to a lyrical crescendo and says “bring the children without might, easy the load and light….come to the Lord”. I thought of Tiggy and my eyes filled with tears. Tears of sadness because I know you all ache without him. Tears of relief because as painful as his absence is, we know exactly where he is. Tears of joy and gratitude because on this most glorious day we are certain that you will hold him so close again. Yes, come to the water…bring the children without might and come to the Lord!

    May the promise of the resurrection ease your aching heart. Happy Easter Dana”

  4. charis says:

    just found your blog through a simple mom link – bless you and yours on this resurrection sunday.

    God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

    He is risen.
    charis´s last [type] ..5 things i am thinking about on good friday

  5. JMR says:

    Suffering is allowed us so that might become greater saints. If we respond to it as a saint should our position in the royal kingdom of hierarchical priests in heaven will grow greater.

  6. Tiffany says:

    This is the first time I have read your story. In tears as you share your heart in this post. Yes God is good. I can’t imagine the strength and faithfulness it takes to utter those words even while recovering from tragedy. Your sweet Tiggy is with Jesus. On this glorious Easter he is with Jesus. Thank you for sharing. This post is beautiful. Blessings to your family this Easter morning.
    Tiffany´s last [type] ..He Has Risen!

  7. Honey says:

    Every time I come over here and read, I cry. I guess that is a good thing. God uses your writing to get straight to the heart of the matter. And what are we doing about it? What am I doing about it? Thank you.

    Blessings
    Honey

  8. Sarah B. B. says:

    God bless you and your family. And thank you for your faith, for your hope, and for sharing it with us.

    • Francis says:

      16a134351b7What i do not understood is autlalcy how you are not autlalcy much more well-liked than you may be right now. You are so intelligent. You realize thus significantly on the subject of this matter, made me for my part believe it from numerous varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested except it is something to do with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs great. Always handle it up! 18d

  9. Aimee says:

    Your words are achingly beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart and your faith, and for so selflessly articulating beauty and hope, even through tragedy. I pray that the Father continue to comfort you each day. You have touched a lot of people today. Jesus lives, and so does your sweet Tiggy.

  10. This spoke to me in a way that I could never describe. Thank you!
    Amber’s Articles´s last [type] ..Journey of Faith Friday- Passion

  11. Sheri says:

    Happy Easter Dana.

    Much love to you and all of yours.

    :D
    Sheri´s last [type] ..Project 2011 – Week Sixteen

  12. Krystle Gray says:

    Wow…. Faith is just that, faith, in the midst of the most tragic of life’s circumstances. It is so clearly seen and heard through your precious “Tiggy’s” Life. Praying for your family…that you may find Jesus’ comfort & healing ever increasing daily, and that He may continue bringing beauty from the ashes. How right you are…God is good.

  13. Sondra says:

    Thank you, Dana. For everything. For your wise perspective, for putting things in view. Your family is on my mind and in my prayers often.

  14. DeAnna says:

    There has never been a testimony that has touched me more than this one. Going through your blogs and seeing your journey and yet you still have so much hope and belief. Thank you. Thank you so very much.

  15. beth says:

    I think you are amazing. I am so, so, so sorry about your tremendous loss. I can’t imagine, and I am just so sorry. I just want to thank you so much for your open and tender heart in sharing this. I was waiting for the story to end in you receiving support and concluding that God is good because you survived this, which is a feat in and of itself. But to instead show us how God must have felt, how powerful. I was raised in a cold and clinical religion and as life has recently been anything but good for me, I felt God as a distant observer maybe, but not necessarily an ally. You changed my perspective, and I can’t thank you enough. I’m also an ER nurse and have seen, countless times, from a professional perspective what you went through. I just want you to know that though we are all trained to keep it together so as not to add to the parents distress and so on, these situations haunt us too. There are many things I don’t allow my child to do because I’ve watched someone else’s child suffer or die from a seemingly harmless activity. We debrief, we cry at home or on each other’s shoulders, but we don’t forget. I don’t know if that helps at all in your grief, but the children lost matter. They always do. They aren’t anonymous and they aren’t forgotten. I just wanted you to know. I’m so very sorry for your loss and profoundly grateful for your bravery and voice.

  16. Renee says:

    Just came across your blog. Hit very close to home. 13 years ago yesterday my first husband went home to be with Lord.He was killed in a plane crash along with 2 other men. I was 8 weeks pregnant with our 1st child. Then 6 days later my dad went home to be with the Lord.If I had not had my Faith in God not sure where I’d be.During 1998 I came across verse that has stuck with me. I even had it printed in vinyl, and have it over the table in my Breakfast area. Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you “declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
    Thanks for sharing your faith and your story.

  17. Grace Houle says:

    Immediate tears weld in my eyes. Honored that you are still praising God despite your tragedy. You will bless so many. i am soo sorry for your loss. May God continue to give you the strength.

  18. janita says:

    I am so sorry for your heartache.
    He is near to the brokenhearted. Psalm 34:18
    Keep leaning on the everlasting arms even when you feel like turning away because life is just too hard. He will continue to speak to your heart and assure you of his love if you keep seeking him.
    Thank you for your thoughts. Praying for the holy spirit to give you peace of heart and mind as you travel this road . John 14 :27

  19. Mary says:

    Oh, Dana…. How beautiful your faith is!

  20. Sherry says:

    This comforted me in the loss of 2 of my 4 children.
    Hold your loved ones close today
    Whisper in their ear
    Tell them that you love them
    And you’ll always hold them dear
    For tomorrow is promised no one
    Young and old alike
    And today may be your chance
    To hold your loved ones tight.

  21. Dana says:

    Thank you, everyone. I am truly humbled by the response this post received.

    And thank you for the lovely poem, Sherry.
    Dana´s last [type] ..Our ducklings arrived!

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  24. Paul Harris says:

    God is not good

    There is a general misconception about God that He is good, but actually He is not. God is neither good nor evil, He is beyond good and evil. If God is the ultimate being, then that God cannot be good. When we are saying that God is good, we are passing some judgment on God, we are saying that He is good. But by what standard of goodness are we judging him good? From where has it originated? As believers say that their God is the all-thing and everything that was there, therefore this standard of goodness could have originated from God only, and not from any other source, because except that God there was no other source from which it could have originated. So we are judging God good by His own standard of goodness. But this is a dangerous principle. Because if this principle is being followed in other cases also, then there will be complete chaos. Then everybody will start claiming that he should be judged for his action by his own standard only, and not by the standard of other people, society, or state. And he can legitimately claim this, because he will say that God has made man in His own image. So the principle that is followed in case of God should also be followed in case of each and every single human being. Why should there be any deviation from that principle in case of man? Is he not created in God’s own image? So, after killing six million Jews Hitler will claim that he is innocent, because he thought it absolutely necessary to efface their race from the surface of earth, in order to save mankind from future disasters. Therefore by his own standard of goodness and badness he has done nothing wrong.
    Therefore the above principle will have to be abandoned and we will have to seek for some other principle. In that case if we say that God is good, then we will have to admit that the standard by means of which we judge God good has not originated from Him, but from some other source. Here there are two possibilities:
    1) This standard is prior to God,
    2) It is coeternal with, but not originated from, God.
    In none of the two cases above, God is the all-thing and everything that can be there. So believers cannot claim that their God is the all-thing and everything that is there, and at the same time claim that He is good.
    Bertrand Russell, although an atheist, has already shown that God cannot be good, for the simple reason that if God is good, then there is a standard of goodness which is independent of God’s will. Here Russell is also admitting that if God is to be judged good at all, then He will have to be so judged by a standard that should not, and must not, have originated from God. In Hindu mythology, Brahma (Supreme Being) is said to be beyond good and evil. He is neither good, nor evil. But both good as well as evil have originated from Him, who is neither good nor evil.
    The main problem is that most of the believers are irrational people. They attribute to God many properties that cannot be attributed to Him legitimately. A God who is one cannot love, cannot hate, cannot be cruel, cannot be merciful, cannot be benevolent, cannot be all-loving, cannot be just, etc. If we say God is love, then before creation whom did He love? So if we say that God is love, then it can only be self-love. If we say that God is cruel, then we will have to admit that He is cruel to Himself. If we say that God is all-loving, then we will have to admit that this all is coeternal with God, and that therefore He has not created us at all. So we should not revere Him, for the simple reason that he is not our creator! Perhaps due to their fear of eternal hell-fire after death some people try to appease God by repeatedly saying that He is Good, whereas in reality He is not good. But does that mean that God is evil? No, not at all. Einstein has said just the right thing here: Subtle is His way, but He is not malicious!
    In one sense it can be said that the creation of the universe was God’s greatest wrongdoing. It was His biggest blunder. Because with this creation came hunger, misery, death, suffering, sorrow, slavery, murder, rape, treason, torture, and what not! Now we cannot undo what God has already done, because it is not in our power to destroy the entire universe. But we can at least destroy the earth; science has given us that much power. So it is up to us to decide what we should do. But if we do not destroy the earth, then in a sense we also become responsible for all the future evils on earth. We do not destroy the earth because we love life, thus allowing evil to run its course as before.
    The principle that God is to be judged good by His own standard of goodness is intrinsically a bad principle. Because in that case we are giving unlimited license to God to decide what is good for Him. And He can arbitrarily choose any act as good for Him that is abhorrent to others. Here believers will say that God is of such a nature He can never act badly. By saying so believers are admitting that God’s acts are good not because those are God’s acts, but because God always acts conforming to some moral code. So Russell is correct in saying that there is a standard of goodness that is independent of God’s will.
    Another reason can be given as to why God cannot be good. If God is good then the question “who created God?” cannot be answered properly and there will be an infinite regression. Believers are very clever people indeed. When this question is raised, knowing very well that they have no answer to this, they cunningly place their God outside the causal space-time universe, and then claim that causal rule does not apply there. But when the question comes as to whether God is good or evil, they blissfully forget that they themselves have placed their God outside the causal universe where not only the causal chain, but also none of the other categories of the created world would apply: goodness/badness, love/hate, justice/injustice, beauty/ugliness, compassion/cruelty, benevolence/malevolence, big/small, high/low, etc. & etc. And they will take no time to declare that their God is pure goodness itself, thus showing their utter inability to think consistently.

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  26. Precious testimony. I cannot even get there in my imagination. I am so thankful your feet stand on that Rock. So thankful you still hold fiercely to Him. So thankful you understand His Sovereignty. Your faith brings Him Glory, though I am so very sorry for your pain and loss.
    I Live in an Antbed´s last [type] ..Lessons From the Road (Trips): A Link-Up Testifying To God’s Faithfulness

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  28. tonya says:

    My heart aches for you. I can empathize as my son has been ‘nearly lost’ several times and is even now on the verge of a bone marrow transplant as we wait, hope, believe for a full remission. My heart feels many things in relation to God as I trust Him and believe for healing and lean on Him as He makes us Pillars of Iron!! Praying for you. If you feel like it, pray for my Braveheart!
    Love
    Tonya

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  31. OH the TEARS!!!!!!!! And I have never been a regular reader, but sporadically I have visited a link. And I think you of you from time-to-time. And I pray for you with all the love on my heart! And I hope for you. And I wish for you.

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  33. poitevint says:

    Very interesting points you have remarked, appreciate it for posting . “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” by Arthur Ashe.

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