I had been in country just a month when my friend invited me to a nearby neighborhood to visit some of her close friends. Along the way, I frantically rehearsed a practical expression, designed to alleviate a bit of the awkwardness that comes with being a twenty-seven-year-old woman sporting a two-year-old language ability: “I’m new.”
As we approached the small cluster of houses, one by one the women began to greet us, shaking our hands and chattering in strings of words too quick for me to comprehend. Nervously, I blurted out my rehearsed bit of language to the women who approached me.
And one by one, they looked at me with confused faces.
It was months before I realized that I had mixed up my vowels and instead communicated: “I’m in a hurry!”
Oh, how definitions matter! How we describe ourselves to others will determine how our actions are interpreted.
This is true of God as well! In Psalm 119, The Psalmist writes that God is good. This is the essence of who He is.
The verse goes on to say that what He does is good. Not just that He can do good things, but that whatever He does IS, by definition, good!
I will admit that there have been many times I have looked at the circumstances of my life and thought, “Wow, this is NOT good.”
I think of those women, who had no context for who I was, and only had my word to go on. I cringe to think how they may have interpreted the afternoon! I was a quiet, somewhat aloof foreigner in too much of a hurry even to chat. What a difference that one clarifying piece of information would have made!
Because I know God, I can look at my circumstances differently. My starting place needs to be His Word and how He defines Himself. I can rest knowing that He IS good, and whatever He does, or even sovereignly allows, is good.
May I choose daily to see all of life through His goodness, trusting that He is, by definition, good.
What has God allowed recently in your life that has challenged your definition of “good”? How might your perception of your circumstances change when you recall the words of Psalm 119:68?