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A Card Trick and the Goodness of God

The following is an article by Rachel Herber:

“You make it sound like He owes you something.”

Well maybe He does! something inside of me screamed.

“No, of course I don’t think that,” I said calmly. It was partially an honest answer, only because I knew it was the right one. “I’m just tired of knowing God is good without ever seeing it.”

This conversation happened four years ago. I had recently gotten out of a ministry that could be described as somewhat spiritually abusive. And for about a decade before that my life seemed to be one crisis after another. I was tired of living in hope; I wanted to “see the goodness of God in the land of the living.” What was the point of hoping for one situation to be fixed if something else was just about to break?

I was done. For the first time in my life I was truly angry with God. If asked, I would have uncomfortably answered that I was a Christian. Something within me has always known that God is real and the Bible is true; I cannot deny what I know is true. But understanding that “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship” I decided God and I would still be in a relationship. We would just be on a break.

Over the next year and a half the Lord very slowly and very gently began to put together the pieces of my heart. Every day was an uncertainty of whether I would see the strength or the fragility of my heart. But I knew that the Lord was finally bringing me out of the rubble of my broken world.

Then came the Card Trick of 2012. It was a lesson on faith. The half of Threshold’s Discipleship first discipleship crew who were in Justin and Whitney Rule’s small group can tell you about it. A card was picked, shown to everyone, and put in the middle of the deck. We all saw it happen. Then we had to say whether we thought the card was on the top of the deck.

It wasn’t on top. It couldn’t have been. We all saw it placed in the middle. And yet, it had to be on top, otherwise this would be a super lame card trick and a pretty terrible object lesson. I never would have thought a card trick could give me a panic attack, but there I was comparing what I saw to what I knew had to be true. God has to be good! He has to be love! That card has to be on top! But that card is in the middle. And God’s goodness is for the sake of Himself, not for making my pathetic little life easier. And God may be love but as Danny Kaye says in my favorite movie, “Well, if that’s love, somebody goofed.”

But God doesn’t goof. He just does some things differently than I would. And by some things I mostly mean everything. He doesn’t concern himself with protecting His reputation from my thoughts. He is love. And He is good. And as He turns His attention toward me He pours His love and His goodness on me. He puts my card on top every time. I don’t have to blindly hope that God is for me. I boldly hope for what I don’t see knowing that this hope is the foundation of my faith and my faith comes from the Word of God.

If we are to be full of faith in the love and goodness of our God our hope must not be placed in optimal circumstances that our sight may fail us and our hearts become sick.  Our hope must be in the Lord and in Him alone.

Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.  -Romans 8.24 & 25

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. -Hebrew 11.1

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.  -Romans 10.17

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  -Revelation 19.10

What Jesus has promised us in Scripture and in the prophecies of others is His testimony. He is not a liar. Whatever we see or do not see playing out in our lives, we cannot discredit the faithfulness of the One who has made the promises to us.

He knows our hearts and He adores them. He is good to our hearts and He loves them.  He puts our cards on top. He does it every time.

Established is a ministry of Threshold Church developed for the purpose of bringing women into relationship with God and community with one another.  We are dedicated to seeing all women rooted in the love of Jesus Christ and living in the freedom and purpose that He provides. 

Please join us for our next event on Monday, May 18th at 7:00 PM.  

For more information about Established check out our Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/EstablishedWomen or visit the Threshold Church information table.

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Comments (2)

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    Anna Kail


    Love this Rachel! Thank you for sharing part of your personal journey in discovering the truth of the goodness of God. You are a blessing!


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    Glenda Weaver


    Rachel! So much honesty and strength comes through your writing… I so hope we hear more from you! Love this!


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Threshold Church exists to love and worship God and to advance His Kingdom through the power of the Holy Spirit. Come Join us on Sundays at 5 PM