When God Doesn’t Seem Good


I’ve heard it a hundred, a thousand, a million times. God is good. Growing up, I remember time spent in a church where we would close the service with a call and response that went like this:

“God is good.”
“All the time!”
“All the time…”
“God is good!”

This statement about God’s character is deeply interwoven into the fabric of who I am. He is good. This I know. And that has always been enough.

Until November 29th.

On that day, Kevin and I lost our baby. We had found out we were expecting at the beginning of November and were ecstatic. A baby! We praised our God for his goodness to us. We praised him for this little life and prayed over his plans for our child. And then, the child was gone. So quickly. Words would fail to describe the depth of our grief. How could God take away our child? He who is sovereign, who knows each of our breaths before we take them, who knows our days and has plans for them, he was not surprised like we were at the brevity of our baby’s little life. The confusion, sorrow, and pain at the recognition of his foreknowledge of our great suffering left me feeling suffocated and angry. Surely this was not good!

The prayer of our days and our nights became a cry along with the father in Mark 9:24, “I believe; help my unbelief!” We desperately longed to believe the goodness of God, but every bit of our humanity told us that a good God wouldn’t allow this. The past two months have been some of the hardest we have endured. But he has been so gracious to us. He has not been silent. He has not abandoned us to our sorrow.

Because he is good.

In our prayers and confession of unbelief, he has spoken gently to us. He has shown us that he comforts those who mourn (Matthew 5:4), and that he is our ever-present help in these times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). He has shown us that his goodness has surpassed the creation of the world and that his character is never changing. And we have come to understand that our suffering in this world is not at the hands of a God who is apathetic to our mourning, but that it is a direct result of the fall and our sinful nature that was born of it. He has shown us that his goodness is evident in all things as he works and has worked to restore what we have broken through sin. He is good because though we do not hold our precious baby in our arms, we hold the Holy Spirit as a seal upon our hearts ensuring that he will finish the good work he started in us for his glory.

And so, fellow mourners, fellow questioners, fellow doubters of God’s goodness, here is the truth that we may cling to. Our mourning is not without purpose. Our mourning does not negate his goodness, but rather reveals it in deeper ways previously unimaginable. Because we believe the following words:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor....to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. (Isa 61:1, 3)

And we know that one day:

Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Rev 21:3-4)

So while our hearts ache for the child that we have lost, we mourn with hope deeply anchored in the goodness of God. We trust that he carries and loves our baby, and we trust that, no matter the suffering we face in this world, we can rest in confidence that it can never alter his goodness. For truly

“God is good.”
“All the time!”
“All the time…”
“God is good!”

Let all our broken hearts remember. Let all our broken hearts rejoice.

1 Comment

Amen, sister! Thank you for sharing with us the Truths God is showing you! Thank you for opening your heart to us. I'm blessed because of it.

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