Knowing that God is good hinges on trust. And trusting someone hinges on having a relationship with them, a track record so to speak. Seeing the way God has orchestrated your life in the past will increase your faith that he has your good in mind for the future too. But we have to start somewhere. That's where faith comes in. If you don't have a relationship with Him yet, take a leap of faith and choose to start trusting Him. He will show you His goodness on a daily basis until you are able to trust Him without reservation.
I started the journey of knowing, the kind of knowing that is a solid foundation in your heart that can't be shaken kind of knowing, that God is good two years ago through a very specific situation. I'll share a little of the details here. There was a girl who was pregnant with a baby who had anencephaly. I don't know this girl directly, but she is a friend of a friend and I was praying for her through her pregnancy. Anencephaly is a condition in which the baby grows inside the mother just fine, but can not survive after being born because the top of the skull never forms and the brain is exposed at birth. This was this couple's first pregnancy, and instead of giving up they were contending for their little daughter's life, believing for a creative miracle and for her to be healed. I was believing with them. It felt like the first time in my life where I fully expected God to really do the impossible and see something miraculous. I was working at Women and Babies Hospital the day she was in labor. I saw the ultrasound a co-worker of mine did that showed the baby still had anencephaly. I was praying for the baby girl to be healed as she was born. An excitement was growing in me that the hospital staff would see a miracle take place in the labor and delivery room that day. I found out later in the day that the baby had been born. And that she had died at birth. I was angry. I was mad at God. I thought "God, the stage was set for you!! There were so many praying and believing, why couldn't you have healed her!? So many would have been touched!" I felt so let down, disappointed, discouraged... Until a few days later.
My friend who had let me know about the whole situation in the first place forwarded an e-mail to me that had been written by the girl who lost the baby's mother. I can't even write this two years later without feeling the tears start to flood my eyes. This is what I found out that made all the difference:
After hours of labor, after the pain of delivery, after having a precious baby girl laid in her arms still born, the heartbreak of losing her first born, when her mom came into the labor and delivery room, the first thing this girl said, through tears I'm sure, was "Mom, God is still good." Wow. Just, wow.
And I had been angry. I was so humbled.
She knew God's goodness.
Up until then I think I had mostly just talked about it.
Knowing means that whether things go the way we want or not, we TRUST His plans for us. We press into Him rather than turning away from Him. We believe that He sees the whole picture, and has our best in mind. We know that He LOVES us, and will carry us through our heart ache, and bring restoration to our lives.
The simple act of this girl declaring God's goodness in the midst of great pain was equally, if not a greater, testimony to the staff working in the hospital that day.
This spring I did a study on Jonah. The concept of the book was that God is in the business of Divine Interventions. Sometimes they are painful, but they can set your whole life on another plane of living, a higher calling, a deeper understanding, a genuine compassion, a greater revelation of who God is. I think I am going to need to do a "Part two" just to write on that whole topic.
Bottom line: God Loves us. We can trust Him. He is Good, all the time. (even in his judgment he is good.... yet another topic for another time.)
The baby girl's name was Aaliyah Joy. Aaliyah means ascending to heaven. This couple recently welcomed another baby girl into the world. Her middle name is Faith.