God’s Got You
Recently, I had taken a day off of work to unpack after we had completed the purchase of our first home. Among a happy flurry of packing paper and boxes, I got a call that my husband’s company was restructuring and it was a likely possibility that we’d either have to move to Nebraska or he would lose his job. Immediate fear came crashing down and I spent the rest of the day tearfully wondering if the items I was organizing were just going to go right back into boxes. I called my mom and she responded, “I just know that God’s got you.” This rubbed me the wrong way and days later, long after the threat had dissipated and we knew Timothy’s job was safe, I still found myself growing bitter over those words. How was “God’s got you” supposed to offer me any real comfort? Just because my eternity is secure doesn’t mean that God won’t stop us from losing our house. This train of thought spiraled over the next few days.
Just looking around at the world, you cannot gather definitive proof that God is always a good father. What kind of father gives good gifts to his children some of the time and let’s terrible things happen at other times? The god that we see reflected in the world can easily be interpreted as being capricious and fickle, unstable and unreliable. So why should I take comfort that this God “has me”? That doesn’t mean that husbands won’t lose their jobs, mothers won’t miscarry, people won’t fail exams.
In an almost last ditch effort to talk myself out of the bitterness that was growing inside my heart, I thought about the cross.
Then I thought again—oh yes, the cross! The importance of the cross hit me freshly. On the cross, God definitively demonstrated his goodness. And he did it through suffering. This act is unmistakable. God’s motives are explicitly revealed.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:9-13).
There is no greater expression of God’s love than the cross. Not a solid job, not a great spouse, not a healthy body. Not any of the things that we tend to look to to gauge God’s goodness. Those things are indeed expressions of his goodness, but they don’t hold up next to the cross. Because God is still good when you lose your job, when your marriage fails, when you get sick. And the reason we can know he is still trustworthy and good is the unmistakable act of goodwill toward us on the cross.
“For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:7-8).
While we had no ounce of goodness in us, God demonstrated his goodness to us in a way that can be the bedrock of our understanding and trust. He showed his love on the cross. We can have radical peace in the face of fear because God is holding our future in his good hands.