good•ness: (noun) the quality or state of being good
good: (adjective) of favorable character or tendency; bountiful; not deprecated; that can be relied on; true; deserving of respect, honorable; virtuous, right, commendable; loyal; free from infirmity or sorrow; kind, benevolent
October has been my favorite month of the year for as long as I can remember. Growing up it was simply because it’s my birthday month, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown to love October for more than just that reason (although it is still part of why I love it!). I love October because, growing up in the South, it is the first month that actually feels like fall. I can get out my boots and sweaters, drink coffee and hot chocolate without feeling like a weirdo, and sit outside without being drenched in sweat. The colors are beautiful, the air is crisp, and I think everyone is generally happier because we aren’t going crazy from the heat anymore. October will always have a special place in my heart also because two of my favorite people have birthdays in October– my grandmother on my dad’s side (Gammie) and my grandfather on my mom’s side (Granddaddy). October will forever be my favorite time of year.
Because I love October so much, and because of my love for words (and defining words), naturally I had to choose a Word of the Month for this month! So, I chose the word goodness. The title of this blog post is a little misleading because I don’t mean the word goodness in the sense of “Goodness gracious, I’m about to complain about something now.” I mean the word goodness in the context of God’s goodness (I just chose that title because it’s punny and catches your eye!). Goodness is an attribute of God that He has to continually teach me and show me because I am constantly forgetting how good He actually is. It was said so perfectly in an article I read on Desiring God, “The goodness of God is one of those things we affirm happily when things are going well, and find it rather tricky when they aren’t” (“Goodness and Me”). James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Not only is God good, but His goodness is unchanging.
In this season of raising support for my ministry, I am constantly forgetting (then am quickly reminded) of God’s goodness to me. Last week I realized that I was believing the lie that God gives good gifts to other people, but not to me. Working in full-time ministry, I am constantly hearing amazing stories of insanely generous people and things that can only be explained by the power of God. But those always seem like far off stories that happen to other people and would never happen to me. My friends, who are also in full-time ministry, very graciously and lovingly reminded me that that is a lie straight from the pits of hell! Because I am a child of God, He delights in giving me good gifts. He wants to provide for me because He loves me. He gives good gifts because He loves His children and so He will receive the glory. The good gifts in my life right now may not be in the form of huge donations toward my ministry, but God is still showing me His goodness nonetheless. As His child, I am called to recognize His goodness even in what appears to be the mundaneness of life– I am called to glorify Him in every season of life. I am so thankful that the Lord, in His goodness, has placed people in my life who will call out lies from the enemy that I am believing.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:28, 31-32
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 107:1
“He has never been faced with a catch-22 situation, forced to choose between the lesser of two evils, or flummoxed into a decision that was anything less than completely good. Therefore, if God has done something, IT IS GOOD” (“Goodness and Me”; emphasis mine).
**Note: I wrote this blog post on Sunday, and less than 48 hours later the Lord completely blew me away by His goodness! It sounds so cliche, but I am so truly blessed to have such amazing friends and family who will do whatever it takes to make sure I feel loved on my birthday! I was in tears (happy tears!) just thinking about how loved I am, not only by my wonderful friends and family, but also by my Heavenly Father who loves to give me good gifts.