23. Goodness initiated

‘Appreciation’ Meditations No.23: Goodness initiated

Ex 3:3Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

We have been considering ‘the goodness of God’ something that is always there and yet something we can so often take for granted, that we fail to be daily thankful for it. It is there in Creation, it is there in the church, it is there in and through other people, it is there in experiences in life. Indeed everything we experience in life is a mix of the fruit of the fallen world and the wonder of the goodness of God. The fallen world is all around us – but so it the goodness of God, and every expression of it is His provision for us that comes in all the ways I just listed.

Now the Lord has caused me recently to ponder on the many experiences I have had in my life, the opportunities I’ve been given, the things I’ve been enabled to do, the places I’ve been able to go, the people I’ve been able to meet. I could easily talk for several hours on them, but here’s the big thing: as I have looked back over my Christian life I realise that they were ALL God-initiated; He opened doors, He prompted, He led, He inspired, He equipped, He envisioned. I was experiencing it but He was initiating it.

As Moses, minding his own business with his sheep in the desert, found out, God is the Initiator and everything He initiates, we can eventually see is ‘the goodness of God’. When God started speaking to him, saying, I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt…I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them…. so now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh,” (Ex 3:7-10) I am sure Moses didn’t see that as something good, but he was about to witness ten incredible miracle-plagues, see the destruction of Pharaoh, and go on to lead his stubborn people to their new land. I sure he could never guess how famous he would become and how his name would be esteemed by his people in the millennia to come. The goodness of God can come in disguise!

Similarly, four centuries before that, Abram would never have guessed how he would be called the ‘father of faith’, indeed the father of the nation, equally famous. The goodness of God for Abram was long and drawn out but certainly there. When Jesus started calling his disciples they didn’t have a clue of the incredible things they were going to witness in the next three years and the ongoing lives they were going to live out, the goodness of God in super abundance and so great was it that, apart from the one who committed suicide out of shame, ten of the remaining eleven gave their lives as willing martyrs. The goodness of God can be the most powerful motivating force in the world!   

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