In the last week, I packed up and moved from my Southern California beach town to Wake Forest, North Carolina. My mind has run around a track, panting, ‘what was I thinking? I’m so far from home. I will not see the sunset dip into the Pacific Ocean … I will not drive by cars with surfboards on top … see a seagull overhead or sandy feet in a restaurant or run into people I know almost everywhere I go. And here? Well, people talk so different here! And if they find out I’m from California - an invisible wall immediately materializes…
But then, God. Over the course of the week, two songs kept running through my mind--the first one Good, Good Father. Oh, I've heard a thousand stories of what they think You're like, but I've heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
And You tell me that You're pleased and that I'm never alone
You're a good, good Father ~ It's who You are, and I'm loved by You
It's who I am . .
Ah, ‘the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations’, wrote David in Psalm 100. It is who he is, who he is ~ good, loving and faithful.
How do we know this of God - that he is good, loving and faithful forever? Because there is evidence of his goodness all around us. A thousand years after David wrote the preceding words about the nature of God, Paul wrote that ‘since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…’ Romans 1.20.
The other song in my head all week: All throughout my history, Your faithfulness has walked beside me
The winter storms made way for spring In every season,
from where I'm standing
I see the evidence of Your goodness all over my life, all over my life
I see Your promises in fulfillment all over my life, all over my life
Help me remember when I'm weak fear may come but fear will leave
You lead my heart to victory
You are my strength and You always will be . . .
Evidence, the song released in the middle of last year, (one very hellish year for many), gives us a melodic blending of David and Paul’s expressions. One great ear worm if you have to have one.
Sometimes we need to stop, look around us, remember and recall the goodness of God in our lives. Indeed, it ought to be a discipline we practice!
I can picture the lovely face and lilting voice of my friend Seena when she smiled and told me her favorite verse: Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37.4. How I have found the verse to be so very true in my life! And like a good, good Father, he knows the desires of our heart and oft gives us what we haven’t even asked of him. (Write that down)
Illustration from the past week. But first, a little background. I have been leading a gathering of people in a parking lot in San Clemente, [T.H.R.I.V.E], for almost 11 months now--a community that is into worship and the Word. Knowing I was about to be exceedingly ‘miles challenged’, I thought my gathering friends might prefer to close the THRIVE chapter . . . No. “Watch” parties were formed, both near and far. Now, you watch what happened.
I had been to the campus of the Baptist seminary here in town and knew of its stately brick buildings, tall columns and beautiful trees, so thought it might provide a great backdrop for the THRIVE teaching. Because the wind was definitely a challenge for the sound quality, I discovered the chapel was unlocked and stepped inside. ‘Why not here? Why not livestream from here?’ I thought. And so I did. I kept waiting for a security guard to come and throw me out, but it never happened.
And then I remembered. Last year, I had been accepted into the Apologetics program at Talbot seminary--had bought my books, begun my study and then realized: I could not be successful in seminary coursework and also continue to do the work God had already given me [THRIVE, writing Morning Briefings, corporate pastoring, etc.]. After a few sleepless nights and a few tears too, I withdrew from the program.
But God. But God knew that he had a plan I knew nothing about: that I would be moving to Wake Forest, a couple miles from another seminary, and one Thursday morning, he would give me the gift of video-teaching in that seminary chapel. And I could hear David in my head: delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. How about that?!
Evidence of God’s goodness, love and faithfulness.
If life is overwhelming for you right now, I am sorry. But God is good, loving and faithful, and he is at work around you. Look for the evidence.
Evidence, Josh Baldwin - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6jD7N1HvbI
See his goodness,