What shall I return to the LORD for all his goodness to me? Psalm 116:12
God made the skies, the heavens and the earth and said, “It is good.” God made the plants, birds, fish and all animals and said, “It is good!” God made His people and said, “It is very good!” His image in His people is so very good. The unique ways in which He chooses to reveal Himself through each person He creates is so very, very good.
His attributes and therefore His image are not limited to His doing and accomplishing. For this reason, the bed bound elderly, newborn or handicapped still reflect His glory. Not even just “still reflect” but intentionally reflect His glory in a way that that couldn’t be seen in another context. However, those reflections of His image aren’t more significant than the way the artist, writer, architect or hostess images Him. Wherever His image shows up, it so very good.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Cor. 13:4-7 In whatever context I see the fruit of the Spirit, I see the Spirit of God moving, and it is good. In whomever I see the characteristics of love, I see God’s image, whether the image bearer gives credit to Him or not. Apart from Him, there is no light. In Him, there is no darkness at all. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chron. 16:34 On this particular day, at this particular time, I am especially grateful for His goodness as I read it in Isaiah 42. A bruised reed He will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. He is not appalled at weakness as we are, nor is He disdainful of brokenness like I am. His image is not eradicated by sin’s corruption, but is mercifully preserved. He uses the weak things and the foolish things of the world to show His power, His tender care, His mercy and His unreasonable love for His creation. My husband has been sick for the past five days and I have been totally not compassionate. It bugs me. I want him to be healthy and strong and helpful. Yet, when I am sick, I want others to weep with me and stand beside me and serve my emotional and physical needs. God is not like me with Terrell. He asks me also to have the faith to be comfortable with and even delight in weakness. As posted on Scotty’s wall months ago, and maybe mentioned here, He redirects me from thinking only of “faith to be healed” but instead to grab hold of the faith required to remain in sickness. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. Is. 30:15 In stillness I can see God’s activity more clearly. My salvation is not in my doing but in His, in which I rest even as I repent of my own attempts to do it myself. May I find His strength in quietness and trust. He is good all the time and all the time He is good. This is evident in the bruised reed that He will not break because it is in His afflicted One that I have found life so that I can celebrate the other afflicted ones through and to whom He gives life, even to me. It is good.