Is God Good?

key-west-86025_960_720 PixabayIs God good? It’s a question worth considering; and many have in recent weeks. With fires ravaging the west and hurricanes pummeling the east, our nation has been hit pretty hard. Whether you’re waist-high in water or standing near an ash heap; staring at the rubble of what once was your life is painful. And so we wonder.

A Costly Storm
He was stubborn. He said he would be fine. He was wrong. My father remained in his apartment in the French Quarters of New Orleans. I spoke with him a day or two before the storm hit and couldn’t convince him to leave. Katrina slammed hard into the Gulf Coast and the nation felt the sting of it.

The news was frightening and the search frustrating. Phone calls, internet lists and shelter searches led me down a rabbit hole to nowhere. In the end, sometime between hurricanes Katrina and Rita, my father lost his life. His body was found in his apartment weeks after the hurricane, having been missed on the first search. It was taken to a make-shift morgue where it was lost in a sea of body bags. There would be more weeks, more waiting, more searching and more questions.

If God is good, where was He in all of that? He was with me; right where He promised He’d be, doing just what He promised He’d do.  Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” A co-worker asked, “How are you even standing?” My answer, “I’m being held.” It’s true you know.

Measuring His Goodnessfire-89353_960_720 Pixabay
The measure of God’s goodness is not gauged by the shifting sands of our comfort. It is measured by the fixed mark of His sacrifice and discomfort, and all we stand to gain from it. So, regardless of how the wind blows; whether we’re safe and secure or we’re watching our dreams go up in smoke, we can say with calm assurance that God is good…even while our hearts are breaking.

How About You
Are you overwhelmed by all that’s happening in the world? Have the winds of suffering blown hard against your own life, leaving you desperate for hope and a peaceful place of solace? Jesus said, Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” The offer is available for whoever will receive it. It’s there for you.

God bless you and keep you,

Roxanne

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. ® Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Pictures compliments of Pixabay Creative Commons.

 

Here’s To A Happy Heart

Heart WreathFebruary is awash with hearts. Valentine’s Day and National Heart Health Month make it nearly impossible to avoid those little red wonders.

Having received a frightening diagnosis, and with a difficult procedure looming ahead, I was surprised that I had felt happy. Finding out a loved one has cancer is no easy pill to swallow. I marveled at those moments and wondered how they were possible in the midst of such difficult circumstances. Like bright rays shining through thick dark clouds; the happiness, like sunshine came from other places. In this case, it was places of the heart.

Just as proper diet and exercise contribute to the health of our hearts, what I fed my soul contributed to the happiness of my heart. I was alone, facing surgery, peaceful and happy.

Benefits of a Happy Heart 

The overall condition of our hearts impacts other aspects of our lives: our attitudes, our actions, our relationships and even the things we say.Berry Wreath Door

Consider the many benefits to having a happy heart. First, it helps us feel better. “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 17:22. Secondly, it improves our looks. “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 15:13. Thirdly, it impacts our speech and behavior. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good…for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. ” Luke 6:45.

Preparations of the Heart

While I long to be happy, peaceful and kind, I tend to base my ‘happiness’ on my ‘happenings’. Consequently my attitudes, feelings and behaviors blow with the changing winds of circumstance. The difference comes when I properly prepare my heart.

There’s an awesome heart-healthy recipe found in the book of Philippians, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8. The peace of God is promised to accompany such meditation and I have found that to be true.

How About You

Have you found your happiness driven by your circumstances? Would you like to be characterized as someone with a happy heart? Maybe you find yourself cold at times, hard-hearted and without any good feeling at all. It could be that you need a new heart. God made a promise to His people that I have requested for myself. “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh,” Ezekiel 11:19. It’s a good promise and a good prayer. May God grant you the happiest of hearts.

God bless you and keep you,

Roxanne 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. ® Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Middle heart wreath compliments of: http://everbloomingoriginals.com.