God Is Good All The Time
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman “Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” Genesis 3:1 (NIV)
Several years ago, my son was ministering to a group of widows and orphans in Zambia. As his mom, I was thrilled to see God use him and would often ask how I could pray for the widows and orphans and the daily challenges they faced. One night he called and said, “Mom, I think God wants you to not only pray for these widows, but to go with me and teach them what you teach the Cup of Joy ladies.” Right away, I began to think about the hours spent traveling on a plane, the shots I would need, the places I would be required to sleep, and the food I would—or would not—consume. So, I replied, “Son, I really think nothing is greater than prayer.” As the words came out of my mouth, I thought, “Doris, didn’t you tell God that you wanted to teach as many women as there are grains of sand?” God gently reminded me that I had prayed for this opportunity, and now I was faced with acting upon the sincerity of that prayer. Before long I found myself on a plane with my son and a wonderful team heading to Zambia!
I laugh now as I recall my plans to “teach” the Zambian widows about God! As we entered the compound, we were greeted by a group of widows joyfully singing: “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good!” I immediately knew the teaching had begun, but I wasn’t the one imparting wisdom. These widows had every reason not to believe in the goodness of God based on their circumstances, yet they began to teach me His goodness.
As I observed the face of each widow, I couldn’t help but see a joy and peace that could only come from God. I couldn’t hold back tears as I wondered how these precious widows could possibly sing that God is good all the time. Every widow in the compound dealt with the fear of being raped, the very real danger of losing their lives, and the responsibility of taking care of children who would grow up in a compound without ever having a man to call daddy. The lack of food and clothing were the least of their concerns; they faced a legitimate possibility of death and leaving their children orphaned. As the widows continued to sing about the goodness of God, I realized that they were not singing that the compound was good, or that the lack of food was good, or anything about their present circumstance was good. They were singing and dancing according to the over-riding belief that God is good! The widows had no material possessions, but they possessed a peace that came from understanding God was all they had, and He was all they needed. “God is good all the time, all the time God is good” rang throughout the compound and in my heart.
When I departed from Zambia, I left behind the lie that the goodness of God is reflected by my current circumstances and dependent upon the blessings of God. The faces of the widows were engraved in my mind, and I couldn’t understand why I had ever questioned the goodness of God. Why did I ever believe God’s goodness was determined by a life free of struggles? Longing to have the same peace these widows possessed, I began to search for truth. So I started in Genesis 3:1 where truth was traded for a lie.
In Genesis 3, we are told that Satan tempted Eve by reminding her that God was withholding something from her. Like every woman, the idea that “I can’t have ______” often makes us more determined than ever to obtain that desire. We find that as Eve began to focus on what God had forbidden, she became less satisfied with everything God had already provided. She had a wonderful husband, a beautiful home, and perfect fellowship with her Creator. Yet Eve wanted more. She became fixated on the very thing God had forbidden and allowed herself to believe that God was not good and could not be trusted. Eve set out to choose what she wanted above what God had commanded. She had no idea that the very thing God withheld was the one thing that would ultimately destroy everything she loved.
When we allow ourselves to believe that God is not good and cannot be trusted, we make decisions based on our own desires and what we think will make us happy. Was Eve happy when she made her decision not to trust God? She immediately began to deal with fear, shame, conflict with her husband, and hiding from God. Eve had no idea the cost of her desires. She experienced her own spiritual death and witnessed the physical death of her son, Able, at the hand of his own brother, Cain. God never intended for Eve to experience any of these consequences nor did He ever intend for mankind to experience such evil.
At the end of our trip to Zambia, we visited Victoria Falls, one of God’s masterpieces in creation. As we approached the waterfall, I saw a double rainbow covering the magnificent falls. I could not contain my tears as I reflected on the evil that hovered over the widow’s compound in contrast to the presence of God reflected in the double rainbow over Victoria Falls. God gave me His peace in my spirit to remind me that even though things are not as He first created them, He is good, and He is faithful to His promises. The double rainbow was a reminder for me that God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.
Further Reading Genesis 3:1-14