What Happened to Normal and Goodness?
Kerrville Daily Times Article
My last few years as a widow, I have had to find a new normal. Normal as I knew it left my life the day my husband was diagnosed with a rare cancer. I would not even begin to say that my life is normal now that almost three years have gone by, but I will say I am discovering that a life with God is not really normal as we define it either. God marches to the beat of his own drum and that melody is found in scripture. Normal for him is to pour out goodness on the biggest sinner. Normal for him is to always love no matter what. Abundant goodness and rich in love are part of his everyday life on heaven and on earth. That lets me know, I need to adjust my thinking and trade what pieces of normal I have, and make it my new normal.
|Our last family picture- 3 years ago|
God does not ration his goodness. He is not reluctant to bless you. Over and over again in scripture it states that He is good and his goodness will follow us all the days of my life. For me that means I need to look for His goodness. Psalms 118:29 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good and his loves endures forever.” Psalms 119:68 says, “ You are good and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.” Sometimes those words are hard to swallow as we try to make sense of life’s difficulties and disappointments. What I find is, the jewels are found in the waiting and persevering. We can give thanks because we know that no matter what, we are loved and valued. We can give thanks because he will work it together for our good. It may not always feel like it in the midsts of life’s turmoil, but we must keep looking for the silver lining and trust God. I find that too many people, quit trusting and quit looking for how God is going to work things together for their good. I know I have struggled with this personally in several situation and have had to discipline myself to hang in there. Good things come to those who wait.
One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 2:4 “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness (goodness), tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? Think about that for a minute...Normally in our society, when someone does something wrong and needs to repent of their wrong, we normally do not think of how good we can be to them. God says, let’s pour out more goodness and let that convict them, leading them to wanting to repent. I will have to say, I have not always felt like being good and kind to those that are not that way to me. If I live in those feelings, they can lead me on a wrong path. God’s ways are so much higher than mine and his work. My ways do not always work, and therefore, I must submit to his ways. Normal to pour out kindness and goodness? It’s normal for God so I guess we need to learn a new normal.
What do we do when someone takes advantage of us? Normal to God is found in Romans 12: 19-21. “Do not take revenge, my friends but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, say the Lord, On the contrary, “ If our enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this,will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (NIV)
We frequently have seen in our society, evil ways and evil things invading our nation’s families, politics, businesses, and even churches. Evil is around us, like it or not.What if that is because we really believe God is on a budget and we keep His goodness for ourselves instead of giving it away? God pours out his goodness on us all the time. I believe we often just don’t realize it. Often times we feel that God is reluctant to bless us and that is just not true. What if we became a community that poured out our financial resources, our time, our energy to help those that have broken the law, have unkept neighborhoods, are irresponsible and don’t know God? Normal in our society is to criticize and judge those that have messed up in life. I know because I have been guilty of judgement and have had to repent. I believe we are called to live above the norm and bless and bless again those that struggle in life. We really are not called to live a normal life when we walk with God.
There was a time in my life when I really felt misunderstood by someone. They totally misinterpreted my actions and words. It hurt my heart that their communication was harsh, judgmental, and that they withdrew their love and support in a time I needed it the most. My challenge was/is how am I going to respond? Withdraw myself? Continue being kind and walk in love? Love is a choice,so is kindness and forgiveness. I have to believe that God is working it for my good, teaching me many things, and I am growing to become like Him. Has it been easy? No. Will I one day see his goodness to me in this situation? Yes, I have and will continue to believe his word and hold on to the promise.
|Dove Hunting- my new normal|
I think we have a world around us that is longing to see God as he really is. He is good, he is for us, he is with us and therefore, we can be full of joy, peace, kindness, and his goodness. What if God wants to use you and me to reveal his mercy and love to another? Can you say yes even when it is hard?
In crisis, the most important thing people look for is love. Think about how much hugging there is at funerals. Remember when you’ve met a friend at the hospital after an accident. In our society, we usually hug the person to affirm our love and that we care. We need the goodness, understanding and compassion to help us thru the crisis. When we don’t see that or experience it, the lack of goodness, compassion and love makes the crisis harder to go thru. God always is abundant in goodness towards us. That is the very reason he sent Jesus. To pour out His goodness upon mankind and bring restoration. Goodness is at the core of who God is. If you haven’t asked God to come into your life and forgive you, you can do so right now. He is waiting to pour out his goodness on you.
Will you join me in letting God mold you and shape you? Will you be the one to pour out a kind word or goodness to someone who has not valued you or dishonored you? All of mankind is waiting for the sons and daughters of God to be revealed. You could be the next one God wants to use!
Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, educator, social worker, writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God and their value. You can read more of her writings on .www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and on her blog.