Recently I was scrolling through social media and saw a serene picture with the caption “God is good.” I smiled to myself and thought, “Yes, He is.” It was in that moment I was struck with the realization, God IS good. But not just when things are going my way or when circumstances are easy. He has proven Himself to be good even in those times when the picture of my life was not one of joy and serenity.
He was good when I stood by my mother’s bedside as she was so sick. He was good when I came home after leaving my second child at college and sat on his bed and cried until my eyes were swollen. He was good as I watched my dad grieve a loss that was unbearable and I felt so helpless to comfort him.
He is still good when I feel so lost and lonely for the way things used to be.
I don’t really have the words to adequately explain why I know this. I am no Bible scholar, no great theologian or anyone really. I am just a person who has lived through pain and loss and I only survived because of God’s goodness.
So it seemed fitting to me during this week when we gather together in thankfulness to name a few of things I am thankful for; things that make me say “God is good.”
Last week I was driving to the shopping center and I was fortunate enough to have my sons with me. We love to play the radio loudly and sing along and this day was no different. When one of our favorite songs started playing, I cranked the radio a little louder and we began to sing along – heads bobbing and bodies jamming to the beat. Oh my goodness, it was fun. I shudder to think what we must’ve looked like, but in that moment I really didn’t care. We sang and laughed and sang some more. In the middle of all the chaos I looked around and my cheesy grin became even bigger as I thought, “I will always remember this, I am so thankful for this moment.”
So many times the things I am thankful for aren’t “things” at all.
It’s the moments, people, opportunities and the unplanned.
I was watching television with my son a few nights ago and we had such a good laugh about a commercial that reminded us of one of his funny childhood antics. It was so unplanned and so wonderful to share that moment with him. I wanted to hit the save button on time so I wouldn’t forget how it felt. But instead I thought, “I’m going to lock this moment in my heart.”
The time we share with the ones we love is a priceless treasure.
We have pine trees that hang their lofty limbs over our driveway and drop all sorts of things onto our cars. You can imagine it doesn’t take long for them to become a sticky mess. Well, recently we decided to do something my husband has nearly banned us from doing, go to the automatic car wash. He just doesn’t believe in them, he is adamant that we should wash our own cars. It’s good for us, he says, a character builder even. None of us share his enthusiasm, we love the car wash. Lately we’ve been so short on time he lifted his ban and suggested we try out the brand new one in our small town. You would’ve thought we’d won a prize, we were going to the “fancy” car wash, what a treat!
I wish I had the time to tell you our experience as we pulled up and the car wash attendant tried to give my husband directions, it was hilarious and I’m sure we were good conversation fodder after we pulled into the tunnel of soap suds and monster sized brushes. Once we entered our eyes were round as saucers and our faces were bathed in delight as the rainbow colors of liquid soap were spewed on the windshield of our car. It was like a kaleidoscope and again I thought to myself, “I am so thankful for this moment and for fun colored soap.”
We pulled out squeaky clean and bubbling with giggles from the experience.
God is good.
I have watched so many Hallmark movies I’m embarrassed to say, I made a cup of hot chocolate and piled it high with whip cream during the latest one. I love a flavored hot drink. I poured pumpkin spice creamer in my coffee a few mornings ago and it was so tasty and left my mouth tasting like cinnamon. It reminded me that over the holiday break my oldest son and I will make our traditional pumpkin pie together, something I look forward to every year. I love how he makes me laugh and how his eyes light up when we’re finished and he gets to have the first piece.
I am so thankful for the times we share together over something as simple as a slice of pumpkin pie.
We took a short road trip to a wedding recently, I love traveling this time of year. It was a beautiful sunny day and the roadsides were filled with the most radiant fall colors. It was a feast for the eyes. Trees of all shapes and sizes stretching out their branches as if on display for every passerby to admire, and I complied. I looked at every one I could and appreciated how different each and every color radiated from the morning sun. I thought to myself, “The Lord has really outdone himself with the colors this year, I am so taken with the beauty. I am so thankful for this moment with my family on this road traveling to see more family and friends, I am blessed.”
My heart was so full.
God is good.
There are a million more things I am thankful for, things I will experience this Thanksgiving. I don’t want to miss a thing. I want to take in the chaos as we watch football and my dad falls asleep on the couch. I want to hang onto the moment as my daughter and I get up early and brave the crowds to save a few dollars on black Friday. I wonder if she knows it’s really not about the money. I’ll sit back and listen as my grown children fill the backseat of the car with childish conversations, I love their banter. I’ll be thankful when we pose for endless pictures because you never know when someone might be missing next year. I’ll laugh as my husband tries to bring some order to our jolly; he’ll want to play a board game and we’ll want to nap.
And then when this week of thankfulness is over and I’ve stood at the end of the driveway and watched the last of my adult children drive away, I’ll be thankful for the tears that flow because they mean that we’ve loved well.
What else could I possibly be thankful for?
Yes, indeed, God is good.