If God is Good

The worship leader introduced the final song last Sunday saying that God is good and if we can truly grasp this truth, it will change how we view suffering in our lives and in the world.

We were sitting in the front row and as I looked down the line of my children, I thought, “She is speaking to a tough crowd.”
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Right in front of her were children who have faced unspeakable suffering – orphaned, abused, torn from their parents, witnesses of horrifying tragedies, neglected, starved, their sister traumatically killed in an accident, and so much more that I can’t even write about.

Can my children easily say that God is good?

Can I?

Each Sunday when we sing, I worship Jesus with all my heart. I close my eyes and lift my voice, sometimes I raise my hands. In this season of my life, this is rarely an act of joy, but rather submission and honor.

I bend my knee to my Lord. He is God and I am not.

He loves me and he loves my children – and because he loves us, as I believe he does, then he must be good.

And if he is good, then he must use even the tragedies of my life for my good, not that the tragedies and suffering themselves are good, but he uses them. Suffering is not senseless – it is not wasted.

There are many smart theologians who have answers to the question of how a good and loving God can allow people to suffer, but in this moment – nine and a half years after bringing our very broken children home from Ethiopia, eighteen months after losing Kalkidan, and two months after becoming a foster mom – in the face of so much suffering, this is as far as I’ve gotten in my understanding.

And my children? How I wish I could have spared them suffering in their lives.

The beautiful thing is that Jesus lets me be part of the healing of their sorrow – in the loss of their parents, he lets me be their adoptive mom.

In the loss of their sister, he lets me grieve and heal with them.

In Zoe’s time of separation from her family, he lets me step in and become family to her.

I have the incredible privilege of bringing bits of wholeness from brokenness – but to do that, I have to come so close to the sorrow that I weep and grieve with them.

This is the brutal privilege of loving people, of pleading with Jesus for beauty from ashes and begging him to heal broken hearts – we share in their suffering.

I can say that God is good, I can write those words over and over, God is good, God is good, God is good – and He is – but better yet for me, God is God and he loves us.

That is astounding and comforting.

Lisa

Signature L and Eby

 

 

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

11 Comments

  1. Luann
    August 4, 2016

    I know it’s true–in my head, but my heart often disagrees.
    I think of the Ethiopian siblings we’ve been trying to adopt for three years. How the kids were promised a family after living in an orphanage for 8 years. And now their Region won’t release them. And I wonder, Why God? Why did they have to tell the children we were coming, only to break their hearts again?
    I’m a grown up–and I’ve known God for a long time. But they’re just kids. And they have little to no support in their faith journey.
    But I must trust Him, even with these little ones, even when it doesn’t make sense.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 4, 2016

      It is so hard, so beyond our comprehension – I think that is where I feel this sense of surrender to God being God – to him being so much greater and wiser and astounding in his love that I simply must accept whatever he plans for me.

      Reply
  2. Beth
    August 4, 2016

    Thank you for the reminder! He is good even while we wait through an unexpected situation, praying for a judge’s decision regarding the lives of our foster babies. Because really, how could He allow this too?!?

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 4, 2016

      That is the hardest question, isn’t it? It is rather terrifying when we have no control and we want things to go a particular way – we want a child to be cured of cancer, a marriage to be saved, custody to be granted. Yet we know that God is God – He will not turn his head and forget us even for a moment. I am praying for you as I write these words. So good to hear from you (I’m sorry I’m the worst at emailing).

      Reply
      1. Beth
        August 5, 2016

        Letting go of the desire to control, releasing the fear of the unknown, surrendering…all terrifying. Thy will be done is sometimes the only prayer left to utter.
        No apology needed, life is full for us all.

        Reply
  3. Beverly Regier
    August 4, 2016

    well said. thank you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 4, 2016

      Thank you, Bev.

      Reply
  4. Joy Headrick
    August 4, 2016

    I have heard, “God is good, but not always safe” 🙂

    Reply
  5. Beth
    August 5, 2016

    “This is the brutal privilege of loving people, of pleading with Jesus for beauty from ashes and begging him to heal broken hearts–we share in their suffering.”

    (“Hope makes not ashamed,” I whisper in one breath, and “Jesus, please let us not be the exception that proves the rule,” in the next.)

    Reply
  6. Ann Henderson
    August 14, 2016

    The part that hit me so hard is the part about wanting to protect our other kids from suffering. The only thing harder than suffering ourselves is to watch our other kids suffer.

    After asking God “Why?” for many years I realized it only brought more anguish and even anger. I’ve finally learned just to trust that He had a reason and in that way, yes, God is always good. I may not understand, but I trust. I also have a lot of questions I want answered when I get to heaven 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 15, 2016

      Ann, it helps me to know you understand. I agree that seeing our children suffer is even harder than bearing my own. Sending you love.

      Reply

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