God is Good, But This Isn’t

This is Catherine Segars, that drama girl, and today’s story is about finding hope when the answer you hoped for doesn’t come.

God is Good, But This Isn’t

Seven-hundred women sing with reckless abandon, “You are good, good, oh. You are good, good, oh.” Hands stretch high as they harmonize the heavenly tune. I try to sing with them, but something in my spiritual gut cracks open. The well deep inside bursts, and I double over in a silent scream.

God is good, but this isn’t.

Piercing pain, loss beyond words ruptures my soul. My precious friend is gone. We prayed every single day for over a year, claiming healing Scriptures over her body, fasting, pleading, proclaiming, declaring. I believed. She believed. So many people believed that the miracle would come.

She is now with the Lord, rejoicing. Her husband and five children are here, grieving.

God is good, but this isn’t.

I don’t understand. I don’t understand why Scripture says one thing when reality seems to say another . . . sometimes. There must be a loftier view. There must be a greater truth. Higher ways. Higher thoughts. I know the verse, but it offers little comfort to me now. What is this way that is so much higher than mine? What are these higher thoughts of the Divine?

God is good, but this isn’t.

I know that Scripture is faith not formula, but where two or more are gathered in His Name, He is there. He has given us authority. We can bind. We can loose. We can command mountains like cancer to be removed and cast into the sea. We did. But cancer remained. Cancer took her home and left her family here.

God is good, but this isn’t.

I know the theology. I understand that we live in a fallen world and fallen things happen in a fallen world. I understand how sin crept in and brought consequences on the earth and into our physical bodies.

I know that God didn’t cause this. But He could have prevented this. He could’ve answered differently. Sometimes I long to be God so that I can tell a different story. Yes, the story would’ve turned out so differently if I had written it. It would’ve been miraculous and triumphant and victorious!

But the second such thoughts take hold, I know that I am far too small and unqualified to write my own story, much less anyone else’s.

After all, if I had written Jesus’ story, He wouldn’t have died either.

Then I remember the words given to another disenchanted soul . . . “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Matthew 11:6 ESV)

Jesus sent these sentiments to his cousin, John, who was languishing in a prison cell while the Messiah’s ministry grew. Lonely, left behind, forlorn, and forgotten, John sends a message to the One who could end it all.

“Are you the Messiah or should we look for another?” he pleads.

Wasn’t he whispering what we all want to scream in the midst of tragedy?

The real Messiah would put an end to this! The real Messiah would come! The real Messiah would stop this injustice! The real Messiah would heal! Are you not the real Messiah?

The real Messiah responds in a flesh-searing way. “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Translation: “Blessed is the one who believes that I am good when life isn’t.”

Do I believe that? Do I believe that God is good when so much down here isn’t?

The song continues. Surely in a room this size I’m not the only woman whose heart is being crushed beneath the weight of these words. Surely, I’m not the only wounded warrior.

Sometimes you have to make a choice. You can wait for the song to change, or you can let the song change you.

Photo by John Price

That is when a song can become more than a song.

A song . . . can become an act of war, a prophetic proclamation, an emphatic declaration that what I see today will not be what I see tomorrow.

A song . . . can become a battle cry sung into a different dimension, one that rules this one, one that commands dust to become flesh and dead things to become alive again (Romans 4:17).

A song . . . can become a testimony confirming that the story is miraculous and triumphant and victorious, but we just haven’t gotten to that part of the story yet.

Sometimes we must sing what we believe, not what we feel.

Photo by Miguel Bruna

We must sing what we know, not what we see.

So, I sing — not as a reflection of this present reality, but as a declaration of who He is despite this present reality.

I sing in gratefulness that my friend’s suffering is over. I sing in humble faith that the suffering her family must now endure will not be without redemption.

I sing, commanding the bad that is to surrender to the good that is to come.

I sing, telling the testimony of some distant tomorrow which will proclaim a greater victory, a mightier miracle, a loftier triumph than any story I could feign to tell.

I sing because beauty will come from ashes, gladness will come from mourning, and praise will come from despair (Isaiah 61:3).

I sing not because of what I see today but because of what I have seen and what I will see again — the goodness of my God in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13).

“You are good, good, oh. You are good, good, oh.”

“You are good, good, oh. You are good, good, oh.”

“You are good, good, oh. You are good, good, oh.”

“You are good, good, oh. You are good, good, oh.”

I would like to dedicate this blogcast to my friend Susan, and to Cayden, Diane, and precious Caroline Rose. Your families are forever in our prayers, and your stories are forever in our hearts. We know that God isn’t finished telling your stories yet.

A very special thanks to Sarah and John Mark McMillan for allowing me to use this excerpt from “King of My Heart.”

And a shout-out to InCourage.me for publishing God is Good, But This Isn’t on May 15th, 2019. If you need an encouraging word, head over to Incourage.me, that is I-N-courage.me to find one.

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  1. Fay Wallage

    June 8th, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Catherine,
    This is an incredible reminder that God really is good – all the time – in spite of what we see. Nothing is impossible to Him, and, as we trust Him,, He does bring the good, that He is – out of the situation.
    Thank you!
    Fay

  2. Alicia Segars

    June 8th, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Beautiful Catherine! Love you sweet friend!

  3. csegars

    June 8th, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you, Alicia! Love you too . . .

  4. Joanna Louise Kearns

    June 10th, 2019 at 12:49 am

    Excellent encouragement for the very weary soul including me!

  5. csegars

    June 10th, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Thank you so much, Joanna! I’m glad that it encouraged you. Blessings!

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