Psalm 31:19 ESV
Thoughts on Scripture and Life
God’s goodness is one of the nine fruit of the Spirit that we possess when we turn to God and receive the Spirit of God.
I know there is a school of thought that there are specific things we need to do in order to receive the baptism of the Spirit. That’s not how I would describe my experience.
I do not remember a time when I didn’t have access to the Spirit of God. I had a near death experience when I was six months old. My parents were told I would not live and even if I did there would be severe brain damage.
According to what my dad told me, he prayed.
He said he prayed harder than he had ever prayed.
He said he made a deal with God. Now making a deal with God is not what I would normally suggest as a Spiritual Director. I would normally advise to surrender the matter to God. However, the deal my dad made with God was a DEAL that God was interested in “taking”.
My dad promised God his full attention and his life. His whole life.
He told God he would surrender his life to God and he would do whatever God asked him to do.
Prior to “the deal” my dad made with God, my fever had been in the 106 range.
In 1954 they would break a high fever by placing the child or person in ice water. That sent me into a series of convulsions. All of my veins collapsed.
Of course I was far too young to remember the particulars, but I did survive. I do have (and have always had) poor short-term memory, poor eyesight, and poor hearing, but all of those things can be remedied.
I alleviate the affect of poor short term memory by writing notes to myself. When my four children were at home I relied on their great abilities to recall where I put my keys.
One of my children (and his family) recently gave me a computerized key finder device so my phone can tell me where my keys are located.
Because of that, I love technology!
My poor eyesight was fixed by internal lenses, distance glasses, and reading glasses.
My hearing problem came in the form of what we call “crowd deafness”. When I am in a crowd, I only hear the crowd. Even if someone is standing next to me and talking I only hear the crowd. People close to me know I hear nothing so they speak directly into my ear. I’ve always hated going to banquets and large events because I can’t hear people talking. I only hear the crowd. So far I’ve been able to deal with the issue by telling others I need their help. So far scientists have been unable to help, but I believe in the future help for crowd deafness is on the horizon (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/brain-controlled-hearing-aids-could-cut-through-crowd-noise/).
For me, it’s a minor inconvenience.
My dad’s promise to God that he would surrender his whole life was a promise kept.
He took his promise seriously.
God was very good to my dad and has been so very good to me. God was my dad’s refuge. Even when my dad was dying he relied on God as his refuge.
In Psalm 31:19 we read, “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!”
In his lifetime, God was abundantly good to my dad. He was an Elder at his church. He taught Adult Sunday School for over 25 years. Even when it came time for him to see Jesus, my dad was not afraid.
I’ve told about this before, but since it is a powerful story, I’m going to share it again. The night before my dad passed-over I had a dream. In the dream my dad was in a tunnel walking toward a great light. I was outside the tunnel. I desperately wanted to go with him, but I couldn’t get inside. I was screaming to my dad but he did not turn toward me. He walked tall and strong toward the light.
In the dream all my dad could see was the light.
The next day he passed into the light.
At the time I was 34 years old and I was devastated, but even in my grief God was ever so good to me. God’s goodness carried me for the next hours, days, months, and years following the loss of my dad.
Looking back 34 years, I now see that I grew up. Instead of turning to my dad first to solve a problem. I turned to God.
In His goodness God knew even though I would grieve terribly, great goodness would come to me.
My dad used to tell me when I had a problem to ask God for a miracle.
I would ask.
Then after a while I would go back to my dad and remind him I asked for a miracle.
He would look at me and say, “And?” That’s like with his ‘Really?’ look…
Then I would say, “God didn’t give me a miracle”.
Every time my dad would reply, “No sis, you asked for a miracle and God did give it. YOU missed it”.
See, that’s the thing with God. He always answers in some way at some time. Sometimes he does say ‘no’ when we ask for something specific that will harm us.
But when we are in a tight spot and we ask for a miracle (of God’s choosing), in His goodness, God does give a miracle.
It probably won’t be a part the Red Sea kind of miracle, but if you look you can find it.
If you look and you still don’t see it, you can ask God to send the Spirit to show you.
Then you need to watch for it…
Watch for God’s goodness.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Ask and Watch
Ask God for a miracle and watch for God to show up.
In God, Deborah