The year was 1987. I was a young teen, and my mom, sister and I were preparing to fly to Zimbabwe. Five years earlier, while in that same country, my father was killed in a motorcycle accident, hit by a drunk driver.
Missionaries to this beautiful place, my parents set out, in the late 60's, with a baby in their arms, dedicated to a lifetime of service to the African people. They had surrendered their will to His, which included the unknown. Unknown people, unknown language, unknown future. But what they did know was the faithfulness of God. They knew that no matter what or where God called them, they would be obedient, and He would be faithful. Life was hard, but good, in those early days. This was their new life and they loved it.
Fourteen years later, the dream of lifelong service together came to a screeching halt. There would be no growing old together, walking daughters down the aisle or retiring together. When you commit your life to Jesus, there are no guarantees of how that life will turn out. The only guarantee is that God goes with you.
In 1987 God had been faithful to bring our newly formed family of three through a time of grief, brokenness and healing. We were ready to head back to the place that claimed the life of my father and see the beauty from the ashes. We’d hoped to find the man involved in dad’s accident and share our faith with him. Again, not knowing exactly what we’d encounter we set off, trusting a faithful God to lead us.
On the last day of our time in country, we were finally able to share Jesus with this young man. There were moments of realness as we all got to speak to the grief that he caused, how our lives were forever changed by his choices, and the things we would no longer be able to do because dad wasn't here. But the gospel was shared above all, the plan of salvation laid out, a Bible given, and forgiveness authentically offered.
There was beauty in those moments as death intersected life. Tears of sweet release flowed as we drove away feeling the closure of this painful chapter. How faithful is God to have allowed us to come face to face with one who caused death and to share, unencumbered, life everlasting because of JESUS!
A year later, we received a wonderful letter from him. He had been reading the Bible mom gave him and had given his life over to Christ! He called dad "brother" and was looking forward to meeting him in heaven. Once again, the faithfulness of God, abundant and overflowing, pierced our hearts.
Over and over again, the fabric of my life, and the lives of my family members, has been woven together with a single thread – the goodness of God. He is good in his faithfulness. He is good in his comfort. He is good in his peace-giving. He is good in his discipline. He is good in his promise- keeping. He is good in his healing. Our circumstances aren't always good, but God is.
Friend, do you see evidence of the goodness of God? Where has he been faithful to you? Some don't have to look far to see His handprints all over their lives. Others, who have walked in grief and pain, abandonment, or abuse, may find the goodness of God to be illusive. Let me encourage you, dear friend. Scour the scriptures to read all the times God has been faithful to his children. Spend time asking God to show you where in your life he has been faithful. Has he provided for you? Given you deep friendships? Encouragement during a struggle? Money to pay the bill on time? Safety on your travels? That is God being faithful. You may not get to see a beautiful resolution to your pain or reconciliation with an abuser, but you can experience the goodness of a faithful God as he heals your broken heart, replaces sadness with joy, and reignites your purpose. Now, that is good. That is a faithful God!
Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
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