I was twelve years old when we packed our bags and moved south. Way south, to Florida– with palm trees, palmetto bushes, humidity, and fire ants.
It was the first time I can remember screaming at my mother. I told her I hated it. I wanted to go home to Alaska. The long and short of her answer? This is where God put you. Now are you going to surrender, or what?
So I went for a long walk. Somewhere in the midst of my mutterings and questions and tears, I felt Him.
I knew Him, you know. From way back. But I was just a kid and I didn’t realize what it would be like to walk with God. I didn’t realize that He delights in revealing Himself to us, to opening our eyes and giving us tantalizing tastes of His goodness.
He used armadillos to establish His presence. He sent me scrap pieces of paper, picked up off the side of the road, with Bible verses written in unknown cursive handwriting. He listened to broken tear-filled prayers and met me under star-lit night skies.
It built foundations in me. Laid down bricks of knowledge that would hold me up when I tasted the bitterness of loss.
We went to a concert last night, the stage filled with stringed instruments. This family with a dozen children and an amazing ear for music. They’ve been visiting our area on tours for years now and we’ve watched the children grow up. They’re a little bit like long-lost-relatives that just happen to entertain us while they’re visiting (which isn’t too foreign to me, since my extended family has some serious musical talent. I usually expect to be entertained when family comes around.)
This year they did more than sing for us, they shared about the birth of their twelfth child, a stillborn daughter named Amy.
And they shared about humbling ourselves before the God who is. And surrendering all to the God who will always be.
Then in middle of the program this Mom, the one who buried a daughter, who cradled a perfectly formed child in her hands and said goodbye, she told the whole sanctuary full of people how someone sent her my book and how it helped her and touched her and was a taste of God’s goodness to her.
It cut me right sharp, brought me down to my knees over the ways I have been silently raging at God for this last mess of difficulty I’ve been forced to wade through. Anxiety has been waking me up at night, and I’ve been fighting and trying to pray but stumbling around feeling lost and abandoned.
When, oh when, will I remember? He is.
Friends, HE IS.
He is God. He is love. He is good.
He is everything worthy of glory and honor and praise.
“I will praise your name
when you’ve shown me your plan.
I will praise your name
even when I don’t understand.”
–Amy’s Song by The Lindsey Family
So, in the middle of a bluegrass concert, I lifted my hands and praised the God who is. Because whether He gives or takes away, He is still worthy.
And I tasted His goodness. Again.
Because He delights in pouring grace on us.
Friend, is there something in your life that you aren’t surrendering? Is there a place in your heart that you are holding back? Refusing to confess? Now is the time to lay it down. Now is the time to praise Him. Now is the time to taste His goodness.
There is a worship song that says,
“This is my prayer in the fire,
in weakness or trial or pain,
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold,
So refine me, Lord, through the flame.”
He’s making us like gold refined. And if the knowledge of that isn’t a taste of His goodness, I don’t know what is.