One of the reasons that I think we are not quick to share God's goodness in our lives is because we aren't quick to accept it, either.
We are a people like Gideon, who pray for God to give us a sign and then, having received it, pray for Him to give us another. Lord, let the fleece be dry. Okay, Lord, that was pretty cool - now, let the fleece be wet. Now, Lord, have the fleece move from one place to another and maybe do a little hokey pokey on its way. Then, I'll be certain that You are the Lord and You are good.
God gives us everything that we need to believe Him. Even the faith to believe comes from the Lord Himself. The only thing we have to do is be willing to put aside our uncertainty.
And that's hard.
It is! Even for those of us who believe in the goodness of God. Even for those of us who would say that we don't have a single doubt in our bones about who God is. It's still hard for us to push aside our uncertainty because we have this feeling that things that seem to be about God still have all of these complicating factors in them. Usually, our human nature.
We know who we are, and we know all the bad things that can happen in this world. If we were Elizabeth, we would know in the back of our minds that something could still go wrong with this pregnancy. A genetic defect. A miscarriage. Maybe I'm just bloated. There are all of these hesitations that we have, and we tell ourselves that they aren't hesitations about God, but about all the other factors at play.
Here's the hard truth: they are hesitations about God.
See, what we're really saying when we say that things could still happen is that there are things in this world that are bigger than God. God can make us pregnant, sure, but can He protect our pregnancy and bring it to term? Can He make our baby healthy? When we say that it's "possible" something else still steps in and ruins this whole thing, what we're really saying is that God is not all-powerful or perhaps not all-good because there are things in this world that can thwart Him. There are things in this world that can override and overrule His divine plan.
We have a fundamental problem with our faith, and that is our ability to actually believe in the God that we claim to know and love. We say that we know all of these things about Him, that we're absolutely certain, but put the goodness of God into our lives, and we're not sure any more.
Isn't that strange? It is so often the goodness of God that exposes that weakness of our faith. It is so often when the promises of God start to come to fruition in our lives that we say, "Wait. No. It can't be." and we start to think of all the things that might be bigger than God in our world.
And that's why we don't share His goodness more with one another. Because we aren't so sure of it ourselves. Because we aren't convinced that there isn't still something bigger than Him coming. Because, for all the faith that we profess, we just can't believe that God is actually doing a good thing that can't be touched by our brokenness.
Our brokenness, we think, is so much bigger than God.
Sometimes, I wonder how many more stories we'd hear about God's goodness if we simply believed them...and how much more readily we'd believe if we were hearing these stories from others. What if we don't have to wait 5 months to tell someone we're pregnant? What if God has just done that and we know it and there's no question about anything being bigger than the miracle that God has already worked in our lives? What if God is who He says He is and this whole thing isn't going to fall apart? What if we don't curse ourselves when we say it out loud, as though the goodness of God is some fragile thing that cannot stand being declared?
We live with a measure of uncertainty, and we tell ourselves it's not about God. But it's about God. We simply don't trust that He is as good and as big as He says He is.
But what if we did?