I have been learning a lot lately about the goodness and sovereignty of God, and how much I have struggled to fully believe in it. Living in Haiti has tested the limits of how much brokenness and wrong and hurt any one man can see or endure. But, God has been there to meet me in the midst of it time and time again. And maybe that’s what goodness is really about after all. Maybe it is not preventing us from experiencing pain and tragedy so much as it is entering into those moments and enduring them with us, and for us. If we never really saw the hurt and the bad, how then could we possibly know what the healing and the good actually meant…we could never understand just how good goodness really is. God never promised that this life would be easy or perfect or that it would always feel right; in fact He kind of said the opposite. But what He does promise is that He has already gone before us and overcome whatever hurt or bad we might encounter. Above all, He promises to endure it with us; to walk alongside us and remind us of the light and good ahead. In John 16:33, Jesus said this: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” That to me is worth it. That is a goodness my soul longs for and one that I can believe in.
The Good, The Bad, and The Broken
The children in this photo have mostly only known pain and hardship. Many in their community have lost their lives to disaster and famine and disease, and many struggle to provide for themselves the most basic of needs. When we first met these children, many of them would go days without eating. They would come to school after walking for miles, and would pass out from exhaustion and dehydration. They were barely holding on to what life was left in them. Through the work of our local leaders though, they have now been provided with a daily meal and a quality education in hopes that they can grow and live flourishing lives that may one day break the cycle of poverty in their community. Their lives are not perfect, there are still many aspects of pain and hardship; but they are alive, and that is good. It is a chance for another day, another moment of hope for what could one day be. Goodness has met them where they are at and is enduring the struggle with them. They are holding on to it and believing in it with all that they are, and they have taught me that there is nothing that goodness cannot touch. Nothing that is beyond redemption or the hope for something far more, and far greater than all of this. They have taught me to believe and take hold and pursue goodness once again, and to see it in its fullness alongside and through the pain and struggle. Goodness goes before all, endures all, and will one day again make all things new and all things good and right and as they were meant to be! Will you take hold and believe that with me today?