God is Good even though He didn't Heal my Daughter (written by Lindsey Dennis) - Dennis Family Post 6
I’m sure you’ve not heard that phrase posted on many a Facebook status. No, we are great (I am great) at declaring God’s goodness when He does something for us, when he shows up in the way we had prayed and hoped. When He provides, when He heals. I heard a story of a man who was reading his Bible on a train when it crashed and killed many. He told a reporter “ I don’t know why I didn’t die, why I’m still alive… God is so good.” While I do not disagree with his statement, nor do I think we shouldn’t declare God’s goodness when He spares our life, heals, provides. I just couldn’t help but think of the questions that may appear on the hearts of all the families who did lose someone on that train, the families who know God and those who didn’t “Was God then not being good to them, to us?” I felt this question stirring in my heart as I listened to a story of a family whose son was all but declared dead and as they prayed over his lifeless body… he began to breath, his life had been restored. And they sat and spoke with deep power and conviction of God’s healing power, His goodness. Part of me wished they would have added “But He is our healer, He is powerful, He is good regardless of whether He had given life to our son.” Observing their faith as they spoke, I’m confident they would have said that, though through tear stained eyes if the outcome would’ve been different.
But these stories, and many others over the months since Sophie’s death and as I’ve wrestled with all the prayers we prayed in faith for her healing, have stirred in me a deeper passion for when and how we speak of God’s goodness. My heart has become more sensitive to when people declare God’s goodness and when they don’t. Do we do the watching world a disservice, giving them an unintentional brazenly inaccurate view of who our God is when we plaster all over social media, in conversation, His goodness only when life has gone the way we had prayed, the way we had hoped? Even if we believe He is good in the good AND in the pain, do people see that? Somehow are we defining God’s goodness as what He does, not by who He is in the way we speak? I don’t know about you, but the stories of faith I am drawn to are the ones where a person declares their trust in God, their belief in His goodness apart from their circumstances. Something about those stories are compelling, are transformational, they remind me there is a bigger story being written by a God who is more worthy of my praise than I could even dream. And ultimately, that’s the God I’m drawn to know more of. It reminds me of what a woman wrote to me as she read our story with Sophie… “Your God is astounding”. Yes! He is, do you see it in my life, in the way I speak? Can people see it in your life, in the way you speak? Yes, His “Astoundingness” is seen in the outwardly miraculous, but it is also seen when His power shows up IN THE MIDST of heartache, of sorrow… when there is no explanation for your response to life’s trial except to ask “Who is your God, that you can respond like this?” Now, don’t for a second think that I wouldn’t be plastering and declaring all over if God had healed Sophie “God is so good, He healed my daughter!”. I would. “We have this hope as an anchor for our soul.” Hebrews 6:19 An anchor when he heals and an anchor when He doesn’t. A God who is good when His miraculous power shows up in mighty ways on the mountaintop, a God who is good when His power shows up in the storm, and a God who is good when His power shows up in the stillness and you simply know He is there in the midst of your pain. Though we may say it through a whisper, instead of a shout, through tear stained eyes instead of overflowing joy… Let us not stop declaring His goodness even when life looks anything but good…
“I’m still looking for a job, and don’t know how I’m going to pay my next bill. Still God is so good.”
“The cancer came back. Still God is so good.”
“I buried my firstborn. God is so good”
“I prayed He would physically heal my daughter, He did not. Still God is so good.”
As I wrestle with God’s goodness and even feel an uncomfortable twinge in my soul of “how dare I write of God’s goodness next to such painful realities for many”, the thing God continues to take me back to is the cross.
Jesus, God in the form of man came down to this earth