My day started unusually early this morning when Torre felt that 4:30am would be a good time to chat and play rather than go back to sleep after nursing. I checked my email while we sat in the living room and learned some sad news for our family.
Sitting in the dark living room, I held Torre and felt sad and prayed, and I was grateful for the stillness of our apartment and for the time just to sit with God. In the stillness, I thought, God is good, which surprised me because his goodness is yet to be seen in this situation. And I thought about what I have been learning lately in the Bible and in daily life, and I wondered whether those lessons still apply to a bigger problem than a sink full of dishes, whether God is the same refuge for disappointments that weigh heavier than spit-up on my favourite jeans.
This statement, God is good, is a foundation for me – steady ground to stand on when I’m not sure what else to trust. Emotions can fail me, and instincts can lead me astray; circumstances can shake my expectations, and fear can gust through gaps in my knowledge, but at the very bottom, deep in my spirit is a solid rock that withstands every challenge and affirms no matter how things look or feel, whether I see it by faith or whether tears blur the way and a knot sinks my stomach, God is good.
On Sunday I skimmed through the lectionary readings for next week, which included Psalm 96. Verses 11-13 say:
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
Let the sea roar, and all it contains;
Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy
Before the Lord, for He is coming,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
And the peoples in His faithfulness.
I was struck by the joy in this passage, the celebratory passion for God’s judgment. The world is thrilled that Jesus will return to restore creation and humanity to what it was made for, and this anticipation includes the judgment that will be part of it because he is righteous and faithful – he is fair. The language of judgment can be daunting, and the process might be painful, but it shouldn’t be frightening because it will be executed by a righteous judge. He knows the back story to every failure, He remembers every failed attempt to be or do better, He hears every confession, even if it comes from rock bottom.
The world is not fair. We can do our best and hope for the best, but ultimately fallenness and sin add a variable to any formula we could try and create, and we don’t always get what we deserve. Our loved ones don’t either. But God sees. God sees, and he knows, and He is good, and He will come to make things right. This is the place I run to fall down.