The preacher said, “Can I get someone to testify about the goodness of God?” The context was a worship gathering, and I know he wanted people to talk about something good going on in their life at the moment.
People responded by walking to the front, taking the microphone, and telling stories about successful surgeries, families reunited, newfound faith, and the blessings God had given them that week. It was inspiring, and people clapped, shouted “Amen,” and praised the Lord for his apparent greatness.
I sat in silence. It is not because I don’t have an anecdote about God’s blessing being poured out in my life. Instead, I feel like my journey with God is an extended story that will take some explaining. There were moments of deep spiritual connection where Jesus felt like a brother and a friend. Also, there have been seasons where Jesus remained distant, and I was forced to sit quietly, waiting for him to show up. Sometimes I have received a gift that proved to be a curse over time. Other times I have failed him, and the pain later gave way to the grace I needed. The steps on this journey have been unpredictable, with numerous twists and turns. People have stood beside me as his strength in dark hours, while those I thought would never leave abandoned me in the darkness. God’s work in my life is an intricate tale of failures and forgiveness, joy and pain, ups and downs, time alone, and surrounded by love, all while working out his plan for my life. I cannot share with you one story that captures all the goodness of God in my life; it is a lifelong journey that keeps surprising me with every new day.
This week God will add another page to my story. It may come with some immediate feelings of happiness as I see his blessings. It may be another week of the slow grind into eternity. There may be no stories to tell, but it will be precisely what I need to get to the next phase. God is good to me, and I know he is to you also, but to capture it, well, that is a long story.