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