This Is My Story: Seeing the Father's Goodness Over Every Day of My Lifeby Megan Tucker
Seeing the Father’s Goodness Over Every Day of My Life
During the month of January, our congregation entered into a time of fasting to begin the year by seeking and focusing on the Lord. So many beautiful revelations came out of this sweet time of intense focus, and so many blessings were released over us as a whole. We saw words released over us, healing take place, and an increased freedom and joy during our Sunday morning praise and worship times.
My 21-day fast was a weak-hearted one, but even in the breaking and starting over (which happened far more often than I care to admit), there was a grace over it that spoke of the Father’s kindness. Not only was there grace in that, but the theme of my January was the goodness of the Father toward me. Time and again the whispers of the Spirit reminded me of just how good the Lord is and how He has been good to me every single day of my life.
Confession: I don’t always see it.
There are days and months and even years of my life that have been marked by heartache, anger, fear, and sadness too deep for words. So when the Holy Spirit leads me to think on His goodness or we sing the words to King of My Heart, I can’t always stay there for too long – I can’t dwell on His goodness because I don’t always have the correct lenses to see it.
When Our Hope is Set in the Wrong Place
So often I see the Church and her people stuck in the cycle of walking in fear: we’re afraid of being hurt again, we’re afraid of looking like a fool, we’re afraid of making mistakes, we’re afraid of making the wrong decision. I get it – these things totally trip me up too. Pastor Bret Mavrich said something in his sermon on hope a few weeks ago that struck me: “if you have the wrong story, your hope is set in the wrong place.”
When we walk in fear and give those fears space to breathe, we’re actually suffocating and cutting ourselves off from the hope we have in Christ. Fearing looking like a fool is placing our hope in our abilities to be cool. Fearing making mistakes is placing our hope in our ability to get it all right, all the time, without anyone else’s help. Fearing making the wrong decision is placing our hope in ourselves and saying to God, “I’ve got it, I don’t trust you with this.” Fearing being hurt again is placing our hope in a story that has been perverted by the enemy, a story that says God isn’t good and He doesn’t love us – it builds a wall between our hearts and the Father’s, and blocks the intimacy available through the Holy Spirit.
These fears likely bud from a place of legitimate pain and sadness, but over the years we have grown bitter to the truth of the Father’s goodness over our lives. The enemy has been cruel to us, per his mode of operation, and has lied to us. He has fed us lies that the Father isn’t good because He didn’t do what we thought He would in our flesh-based hopes and mismanaged expectations. The enemy tells us that God isn’t kind by virtue of someone else being unkind to us. The enemy tells us that we aren’t enough because we didn’t measure up to our own ridiculous standards or the standards of others. The enemy tricks us into believing that relationships can’t be fixed because they’re far too broken, that there’s no way the Lord could mend it. And here’s a tough one: the enemy twists it so that we play the role of victim – it’s not our fault, because it’s everyone else’s fault.
Friends, it’s time we all, myself included, invite the Holy Spirit to do some difficult work in our hearts.
We need the truth that heals, the truth that sets free, and the truth that sets our hope in the right place. We need the truth that gives us eyes to see the Father – and our stories – rightly.
Heirs with Christ, Adoption as Sons
Scripture tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father, because that’s what good fathers do – they give good gifts. To look at our messes and the things we place our hope in is to fear that God, our good, good Father, is not to be trusted to give us good gifts or to handle the issues that we face.
In the moments when I find myself face to face with my fear – that is to say, all the fears mentioned earlier – I am reminded of what Paul tells the Romans in the eighth chapter, and truthfully, my fears are calmed with just this:
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we also may be glorified with him.
Friends, the truth we need to hear is this: we are sons and daughters of the good, good Father. His Spirit ministers to us in our weakest moments and whispers to our spirit, “Son.” When we look back and see seasons of our lives marked with heartache, anger, fear, and sadness, His Spirit whispers to the depths of ours, “Daughter.”
These are the new lenses we so desperately need. The truth of our identities as sons and daughters is the truth that heals, the sets us free, and that gives us the eyes to set our hope in the right place.
A good father – our good Father – doesn’t give stones when asked for bread. We need only ask the Father to give us eyes to see Him rightly, and when we can look at the Father and declare “you are good” from the deepest wells of our hearts. We can look back over all of our days knowing that our good Father protects us, loves us , and disciplines us, that we might be true sons and share in his holiness, and we can say to our darkest days and our deepest hurts “He is good. He is good. Every single day, He is good.”