As surely as the sun will rise

A few years ago, Robert and I went river tubing in Belize. After trekking through the jungle for a mile or so, we strapped on head lamps, climbed into inner tubes, and paddled after our guide, who took us into the deep recesses of a bat-filled cave. At one point, the guide instructed us to turn off our head lamps. I’d never experienced that kind of darkness before. It was more than just the fact that I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. The darkness was pitch black, disorienting, and palpable. Instinctively, I knew that a person could easily lose sight of reality if left in that kind of darkness for too long. I was thankful that it only lasted a few seconds before we turned our headlamps back on. By the time we made it out of the cave, the sun seemed too bright, and I had to squint. My eyes had adjusted to darkness. They needed to recalibrate to daylight.

Sometimes the eyes of my heart need recalibrating too. For the past few months, we’ve been fighting with our insurance company over a BiPap machine that A.J. really needed. The doctor prescribed the machine, but our insurance company was balking at paying for it. Eventually A.J. ended up in the ER with critical levels of carbon dioxide in his blood. He stayed in ICU for a week before everything finally worked out so that he could go home with the BiPap machine that would have prevented a hospital stay in the first place.

Many times, I “rally” through difficult situations like this and then “crash” afterward. I stick close to God in the middle of a crisis, because I know that I can’t make it through without him. But too often, I let my guard down when the crisis is over, allowing exhaustion, fear, self-pity, and other negative thoughts to get the better of me. This feels like drifting into the deep recesses of a mental cave–like there is no light to be found in any direction. It happens because I let my spiritual eyes adjust to darkness instead of turning back toward the light.

That was the case this morning, and I’d nearly convinced myself to stay home from church. But God opened up a crevice in the tunnel I was burrowing into and offered me a way out. He put a song on my heart:

All my life You have been faithful
All my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me
Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me
With my life laid down, I surrender now
I give You everything
Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

I sang the first chorus somewhat reluctantly while I put on my makeup and then found myself pressing the replay button, my volume and joy increasing with every note. God knows what we need before we realize it ourselves, and He is so kind to offer the right thing in the right moment, be it a song or a Facebook post:

“All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.”–I Corinthians 10:13 (MSG)

The song I was singing is called “Goodness of God,” and it reminds me that God’s goodness is not something that waxes and wanes. It is fixed, constant, and unchanging. As surely as the sun rose yesterday and today, it will rise again tomorrow, because that is what the sun does. It would take a long stay in a dark cave to convince any sane person otherwise, because in all of history, there has never been a day that the sun didn’t rise.

The sun, which so faithfully provides the light and energy we need, is the handiwork of God. It is a daily reminder of His unchanging goodness. God’s goodness is who He is. In all of eternity, there has never been a moment that God wasn’t good. Just as we cannot hope to gain a clear picture of the world around us without the light of the sun, we cannot expect to judge our circumstances correctly unless we are viewing things in the perfect light of God’s goodness. Everything else is shadows.

When we entertain thoughts that God is not good, we start the drift into a dark cave of deception. Here, eyes that were created to function at their best in the full light of day will begin to adjust to the darkness. If we do nothing, we become easily tricked into thinking that the darkness is more comfortable, safer, and more preferable than the light.

This is a dangerous (and hopeless) place to be, and I am so thankful that God doesn’t willingly leave us there! His goodness literally chases us down–following us into the darkest cave if necessary–to light the way back home:

“Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD as long as I live.”–Psalm 23:6 (CSB)

Turn toward the light of God’s goodness today. Let your eyes adjust to the Son. Refuse to allow your circumstances to dictate God’s character to you. Instead, view your circumstances in light of His unchanging goodness.

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