I had so much to do on Tuesday. Timing was important to make a meeting, to get sermons prepared, and do some needful chores before leaving on a trip that would take up most of the rest of the week.
I walked into the house to get a drink of water. I sat down at the kitchen table and looked out the back door. For some reason, I got to thinking about the goodness of God, and I curiously began to weep. After a few minutes, I thought that I did not have time to do that kind of thing. After all, I do not like to cry. But, as I continued to think about the goodness of God, the more I was overcome with tears.
When the thought of the hardships Terry and I faced together over the years came to mind, I was reminded about how the goodness of God came to us and saw us through, and I would weep, not about the hardships, but I would weep that the goodness of God was so real.
When the thought of how Micaiah in 1994 and Jamin in 1997 each were once in danger of dying, my thoughts were distracted to how the goodness of God sustained our family during those times. Even since Aug. 9, 2002, when Eran was killed in that car crash, the goodness of God continually fills the void. I thought how amazing and how real it is, and I wept that much more.
The goodness of God was quite evident during troublesome times with one church I once pastored. I was going down the tubes as pastor there, and I kept prayerfully telling God that very thing. I needed His help. I needed to know His will, which He revealed during an evening service. While I played the piano, He directed me to give my resignation that night. There was a lot at stake concerning that action. Nonetheless, I did as He directed. But, we were home from that service no more than 10 minutes when another church called to ask if I would consider becoming their pastor. Not a Sunday was missed preaching. Not a paycheck was missed. Our family did not have to move. We spent nine more years ministering in that community. I am still amazed at the goodness of God during that time.
I wept at the thoughts of how the goodness of God has been so inspiring this last year concerning my health. The goodness of God keeps a roof over our heads. The goodness of God keeps food on our table. The goodness of God keeps clothes on our backs. The goodness of God has been so constant in 40 years of marriage with my sweetheart, Terry. The goodness of God has been so real in our family life with six sons, and now their careers, their families, and their experiences. I wept for a long time as I thought about the goodness of God. Though it was an unusual experience for me, it was an uplifting experience.
“The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” I will mention the goodness of the Lord … according to all that He bestows according to His mercies, and according to His lovingkindnesses.”
If you cannot get stirred up about the goodness of God in your life, then your spoon has flat fallen out of your bowl!
Sometimes we weep too much over all the bad times we have, ingrates who do not prioritize the goodness of God rather weep bitterly. But, it is far better to weep over the goodness of God so very present, so very real, and so very good during those times. It gives an uplifting perspective. Thank you, Lord, for it.
In the meantime, despite the time spent weeping about the goodness of God, I had plenty of time fulfilling all I needed to get done. God is just downright good. You cannot beat Him with a stick.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.