Goodness

Bad things. Good People. Great God.

I have heard this phrase in many conversations. I have witnessed it on Facebook statuses. I have even seen it on a billboard.

“Why do bad things happen to good people?”

That is a good question. And a tough one at that. I’m not gonna get all theological on you today (my brain isn’t quite up for that level of discussion) but I think that “Bad things” happen to “Good people” due to sin.

I don’t mean those folks who experience the “bad thing” have sinned. I mean, they have sinned… Shoot, we all have… but God doesn’t PUNISH us for things we do. That is what the cross is for. “Bad things” happen because we live in a fallen world. I would like to think that if Adam and Eve hadn’t messed it up for the rest of us, we wouldn’t have to deal with things like pain, sickness, loss, death, betrayal.

But let’s be honest. If it wasn’t Adam and Eve, I’m sure somebody else would have come along 15 seconds later and jacked it up for us. Sigh. Isn’t human nature (and Satan) frustrating?!!

Anyways, bad things happen to good people in this life. I’m willing to bet you are sitting there nodding your head thinking “Tell me about it, sista.”

But here’s the good news… Even though bad things happen to good people, we have a great God. The other night during prayer week at church, we were briefly looking at Job chapter 38. God is reminding Job that HE is bigger. HE is the creator. He is THE ONE.

As I sat there and mediated, God gave me these words:

“Only when we start from the bottom of the valley can we truly appreciate the mountaintop. When we experience how bad it can be, we can know how great God IS. He is above it all.” 

In essence, we have to go through the crappy (pardon my French) parts of life to TRULY experience the fullness of God’s love. Otherwise, what kind of heaven would we have to look forward to??

When your path seems uncertain... Know that the God of Love and Peace is guiding your footsteps!

In the last few months, I have encountered several good people going through some pretty “bad things” in life. My beloved boss and mentor dealing with the loss of her husband’s grandmother while BOTH of her parents battle cancer. A soldier who lost his wife and daughter, now a single father to his 11-year-old son. A close friend struggling an illness. Another friend questioning her purpose in life.

We’ve all been there. I don’t know where you find yourself today. Are you in the midst of a “bad thing?” Or coming out of it? Or perhaps facing it soon? Take heart. We have SUCH an incredible promise of a future world with no pain or heartache. And while we walk through our current “bad things,” God is walking with us. Daily. Know that while bad things might happen to good people… we can rely on an incredibly GREAT God.

Thankful to worship a kind, loving, merciful God,
SGK

“I’m thanking you, God, out loud in the streets, singing your praises in town and country. The deeper your love, the higher it goes; every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness.” –Psalm 57:9 (MSG) 

Have you ever been through a “bad thing?” How did God see you through? (Or if you are going through a “bad thing” right now, leave a comment here and I will pray for you. Or you can email me via sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com.)

Categories: affirmation, challenge, Christ, cross, death, faith, God, Goodness, life, Live, mercy, pain, promises | Tags: , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Back to School Bonus

Our dog Sweet Justus loves elementary school days.

I am not talking about MY school days– because for me, working on my masters online, everyday is a school day– and I don’t have to go anywhere. (Praise Jesus!) But Justus loves little kid school days. Brandon and I obviously don’t have kids of our own yet, but  there are passels (flocks? gaggles?) of small little school children all throughout our neighborhood. Fortunately for our lil baby dog, we usually time our morning walk-jogs just right for the kids to be waiting at the multiple bus stops to head to school.

There are two primary reasons why Justus loves these early morning school-day walks:

Reason #1: He gets excessive attention from small children screaming in a shrill voice across the street “OOOOOOHHHHHH LOOK AT THE PUPPY!! I LOVE YOUR DOG!!” followed by their mothers awkward look and under-the-breath-comment about Justus’ ears. (It doesn’t matter to the dog… He likes attention regardless of present sarcasm)

Reason #2: The children throughout our housing complex seem to follow the pattern of children-esque habits… They are messy eaters. Justus always seems to find some “special treat” dropped on the ground from either a lunch, an afterschool snack, and sometimes an entire portable breakfast. (Today he snarfed down three pretzels before I noticed what he was doing.)

So what can we learn from this little dogs intense focus for food and attention? Just like Justus is searching for acknowledgement and the occasional on-the-ground- pretzel, we should be searching daily to find those God-given gifts of Goodness. Unfortunately for us, our nose/eyes/ears are slightly less attuned to the awesome gifts around us… especially when you are huffing and puffing on mile 3 with your iPod in.

God is the ultimate craftsman. There are so many things that are incredible gifts from God, but our society and flesh drives us forward in such a quick speed we sometimes forget. I know I can’t meander every day, taking a slow romantical stroll through the neighborhood with my pup… but there ARE days where I can stop, take a deep breath, tune out the distractions and thank God for the glorious gifts that he has placed in our lives. Ahhhhhhhh… “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” –Psalm 27:13

So are we looking for God’s goodness everywhere? Or are we blinded by the urgent/important (or unimportant) stuff in front of us?  How can we reduce those distractions? What small amazing things are present in your life today that is a gift from God waiting to be unwrapped?

Unwrapping His Good Gifts Today,

SGK

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” — 2 Peter 1:3


Categories: gifts, God, Goodness, Justus, running | Leave a comment

Deep Fried & Covered in Chocolate

Living in the south makes me hungry! (Can you say Paula Deen??)

Correction…. Living in the United States makes me hungry! (ORDER UP!)

Additional Correction… Living makes me HUNGRY! (Om nom nom)

I love to eat. Maybe you do too. It has evolved from a necessary means of survival to a social event, a cultural experience and and a daily conversation (argument?) among people. “What’s for supper? Where do you want to eat?” Oftentimes, it is a daily battle to stay focused on the “big picture” of staying healthy and eating “properly.” (Let’s be honest… many of us wouldn’t really have an issue with eating fried chicken, mashed potatoes and chocolate cake every day if we knew it wouldn’t lead us down a scary path! If I had the metabolism of a 3 yr old, you bet I would partake!)

I try to behave myself (ish) when it comes to consuming calories and chowing down on a daily basis. Sure, I splurge every now and then, but over the past few years I have learned my lesson about the lasting impact of eating anything, anytime, in any amount. The great news is that while yes, I still occasionally crave something deep fried and covered in chocolate (insert drool moment here), God has led me to feast daily on a different kind of food… with no guilt included.

God is the Ultimate Chef to cook for and feed our spirit. He guides us, grows us and lets us gain pleasure from our spiritual food. Without him, things in life would taste pretty bland. “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25) Sometimes our spiritual food comes easily through music, prayer, reflection or reading. Other times, especially when we (ok, me) are distracted by things of this world, we have work a little harder to get that spiritual food.

Why do we need to feed our own spirit? Because it not only grows us “big and strong” and is “good for us,” (sounds like my growing up days and battles with lima bean consumption) but it helps us to mature as believers. “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)

God invites us to feast with Him daily, for every meal, anywhere. He grants us this privilege and freedom through his love and grace. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Let’s join in His bountiful buffet of His love! It is such a smorgasbord, it makes me hungry just thinking about it.

Just like physical food, spiritual food can in many forms, in many portions. Take a few moments and think about how you would like your spiritual food served. Where can you find it? How often do you feast on food for YOUR spirit? Are you eating your fill?

Let’s eat daily at his banquet through prayer, thankfulness, fellowship and studying His word. It’s a “free” meal for us, already paid for in advance by the Cross. Your reservation is booked. Your spirit is hungry. You don’t have to count calories. Oh, and I have heard that the dessert menu features a variety of delectable dishes… many of which are deep fried and covered in chocolate.

That’s my kinda soul food.

SGK

“Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.” Proverbs 9:5-6

Categories: food, God, Goodness | Leave a comment

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