Most church folks have a response for everything. They’re cliches, really, but sometimes they’re timely and relevant. Now, play along with me for a minute, and if you can answer them all, you might just be one of the church folks I alluded to earlier. Let’s play by filling in the blanks. I’ll give the answers at the end.
- God is good all the time, and ____________.
- The _______ is a liar!
- God knows ___ _______. (Usually uttered after you’ve said something unkind)
- I’m blessed and highly ___________.
- It’s not over ’til ____________.
- I am too blessed to be ___________.
- Turn to your _________ and say…
- God’s got a blessing with ________.
- Can I get an ________?
- Weeping may endure for a night, but ________ comes in the morning.
Sometimes we’re too busy to stop, listen, and minister to someone who’s going through a tough time, so we offer one of these quips before rushing off to parts unknown. What I’ve come to believe over the years is that God sets up these divine appointments, and it is our obligation to carve out time for them, and do when he wants us to do — encourage, enlighten, or even extinguish a burning question. You might not even have the answers for this person, but God chose you for a reason, so be obedient to his call because he deserves our whole-hearted obedience.
This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!’ ~Jeremiah 7:23
This seems simple enough, but why is it that we sometimes miss the mark? I’m not judging; I’m guilty too. For instance, sometimes God will put someone on my heart, and I know I need to pray for her, but she has been intentionally mean to people I know, so I take my time about doing what God told me to do. Isn’t that the same as disobedience? In our bible study session today, we learned that this is a crossroads. You have a decision to make, and there are two options. Only one choice is right. In my case, I know I have to pray for this sister who has been mean and surly because she, too, might be at a crossroads.
When we make the right choice, I believe it makes God smile. Imagine spending your entire life doing what’s pleasing to him — knowing it makes him smile. Isn’t that a priceless reward for obedience? One of the many joys of fellowshipping with like-minded sisters and reading and studying the word of God each day is getting to know God for myself. Church folks can tell you all day long that God is good, but if you don’t get to know him for yourself, you’ll never know him. You might know what he does, but you won’t have the Pearl of Great Value which is a relationship with him.
For my final thought, I want you to reflect on the saying “God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.” More often than not, I hear this when someone has been blessed with something tangible — a car, a house, or a vacation. Sometimes I hear it when something works out in your favor that you didn’t expect to go your way. That suggests that you know God on some level and realize that he’s able to turn things around for you. What’s more impressive is the person who focuses on the “all the time” part of this cliche. I’m thinking of the 30 year old woman who never smoked a day in her life and was just diagnosed with lung cancer. When she says, “God is good” right after hearing this devastating news, it tells me that she knows God. She has found the Pearl of Great Value — a close relationship with him. She truly knows him as her Lord and Savior, the author and finisher of her life, and Jehovah Rapha. That is the goal, and that is my challenge — to say “God is Good all the time” even when what you’re going through doesn’t feel good.
May blessings abound! <3
P.S. I bet you thought I forgot. Here are the answers to the fill in the blanks exercise: 1. All the time, God is good, 2. devil, 3. my heart, 4. favored, 5. God says it’s over, 6. stressed, 7. neighbor, 8. my name on it, 9. amen, 10. joy
Oh, my former band mate, I’ve stumbled across your blog and it makes me smile! I love how well written and heartfelt your messages are. You are a blessing! God is good ALL THE TIME and that’s how I found your blog.
What a wonderful surprise! I actually squealed when I saw your name. 🙂 Thank you for reading, and thanks for the kind feedback. I hope you’ve been doing well, old friend. <3
Powerful post! Definitely made me smile ☺️
Thanks so much, Saraa! How are you, and how’s school?
Everything’s great ☺️
Hope you’re fine !! ❤
Yep…doing well. <3
I thought you were quoting Yogi Berra in #5. Made me giggle, because I figured that wasn’t your drift.
Sunrise sermon — the sun rose as I read this, shining brightly on the mountain in front of me. What a day to praise the Lord!
Hahahaha…Anne, you’re a hoot! I tell ya, God gives us so many reasons to praise him. Have an awesome day! <3
Beautiful post. I believe in god but not born in a chritian reglion.. so glad you gave the answers i did get stuck.. nice post thanks for sharing.
Thanks for taking the time to read and to play along. In my opinion, having a relationship with God is far more important than ascribing to a particular religion. I feel like that tends to separate us sometimes.
How so true! After the initial shock of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I too can say that God is good all the time!! He has made me stronger and less wrapped up in my own stuff!
He has a way of making us prioritize very quickly. The strength you gain as a result of living with a debilitating illness cannot be easily explained or understood. It’s just there when you need it most.
Closer than my next breath!
Encourage, Enlighten, and Extinguish [a burning question]… what an apt series of ACTIONS Michelle. These three words really struck a cord as I read this post about responding to those “opportunities” to minister to others. Normally, this message (move beyond the cliche to meet those in need where they are) is served as a reminder. However, you go a step further here by providing guidance for us. Love it.
Looking forward to facing opportunities to put these tools to the test.
Thank you Michelle. You reached me.
Hi there! I hope this message finds you well, Gabe. I’m always hopeful that these messages will reach those who need them. Blogging isn’t about stats to me anymore; it’s about engaging with a community of folks who help me to grow each day. Every new blog I follow is an opportunity for me to learn.
Exactly. I rate my “success” in unquantifiable terms. A comment that tells me my post resonates with a reader (as many of yours do) is so immeasurably satisfying.
Enjoyed reading your blog …delayed OBEDIENCE is DISOBEDIENCE!
Thanks, girlfriend. <3
These puzzles are great! Maybe because we like to believe we know all the answers :> We use similar ones for our Sunday services at my chuch. I like to jump ahead, and am actually happy when I miss a point now and then. Great post, Sis.