By Michelle Berkey
As I sit down to write this, the average national price for a gallon of regular gasoline is thehighest it has ever been (not accounting for inflation) according to AAA. The BBC reports that “2.5million people have so far fled Ukraine because of Russia’s invasion, in what the UN has calledthe fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War Two.” The stories of those who haven’t fledare heartbreaking. All the other news being overshadowed by the Russian invasion hasn’tchanged either. Men, women, and children are being exploited, enslaved, harmed, and endangered in more ways than I can count in every community on earth. Looking around me,it is often hard to see my world bursting with goodness.
But God, when I look at You, I see it.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (Psalm 34:8)
You are good, Your nature is good. I may live in circumstances that are anything but good, but if I want to know good, taste good, and experience good, I have simply to lean into You. To look at who You are and what You’ve done. To actively seek Your presence. Help me do that. Help me taste and see that You’re good—not just in the world at large—but good toward me. And may I not simply know it intellectually, but may I experience it in such a way that the knowing is visceral.
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! (Psalm 31:19)
Your goodness isn’t just something you drip out on those who seem to have their life and faith together in some shiny, presentable package. It’s not something You ration. It’s abundant and You have so much that it’s stored up for every one of us!
Even better, I don’t have to work to earn your goodness. It’s available to those who fear you and take refuge in you. So, when I’m overwhelmed, angry, exhausted, hurt, or failing–and I bring that to you and take refuge in you—your abundant goodness is what I can expect. Teach me to fall into you when I stumble. Teach me to fear You—to revere You in the way You deserve. Help me experience the abundance of Your goodness.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Because goodness is part of who You are, it will spring naturally from a connected, committed, and obedient relationship with You. If I want more goodness in the world around me, I can bring it by cultivating our connection. By abiding in Christ. Lord, I want that. I want more goodness in the world!
Bring a goodness revival in my community and let it start with me. Draw me deeper into a love relationship with You and let Your goodness spill over into every other relationship I have. Let it spill into my interactions online. Let it flow into every contact I have with others. Let me direct it toward even myself. Let me be a catalyst for good in the world, not because I’m so working so hard at it. But, instead, because I’m so in love with You and so freely, consistently, and extravagantly pouring out Your nature in everything I do.
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you! (Psalm 145:8-10)
I’m so grateful that You’re good to all. Because I don’t have to wonder if “all” includes me. It does. And I’m so grateful to be on the receiving end of Your goodness, mercy, and love. As one of Your works, I offer You my heartfelt thanks, Lord. I’m grateful for experiencing Your goodness in my life in so many ways and the promise of goodness to come. May my life overflow with Your presence and bring Your goodness to everything I do and everyone I meet. I love You. Amen.
Michelle Berkey is a writer and artist who lives near Nashville, TN, with her husband, teenaged son, and rescued Boxer dog in a house full of art supplies and ideas. You can find her at Grace & the Gravel Road online and on social media or listen in to the Praying Scripture podcast.
Originally published in Gritty Faith Volume 15. Written by Michelle Berkey.