Do you believe it?
Jon and I got married when I was twenty, and he was twenty-two. At the time, life expectancy for people with Cystic Fibrosis was about thirty, and most men with CF would struggle to father biological children. As someone who likes planning way into the future, those stats made for a lot of uncertainty. You might think saying, “I do” to Jon and an unknown future would have been tough. Yet it wasn’t, because I’d first said “I do” to trusting God.
God waited until I was nineteen before he brought me to a place where I was ready to say a wholehearted “yes” to him. I’d resisted for years because I wanted to be in control, plot my own course and do what I thought would make me happy. Like many of us, I’d fallen for the classic lie of the enemy. Through my early teens, he’d whispered, “Is God really good?” casting doubt over my childhood faith. I’d listened and decided it would be best if I was King (or Queen) of my life. So I set up a throne, and off I went in search of my kingdom. As it turned out, the things I thought would make me happy were not nearly as satisfying as I’d imagined. My soul was still thirsty. The kingdom of “Vicki Searching For Happiness In All The Wrong Places” was not such a happy place to be after all.
Yet, for all my wandering, rebellion and faithlessness,
“You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call on you.”Psalm 86:5
By his Spirit, God stirred up faith in my heart, enabling me to see his goodness and call on him for salvation.
It was just a few months later that I fell in love with Jon. We had talked early on, in that pre-dating, getting-to-know-you stage, about what the future might look like for us, given his Cystic Fibrosis. Around the time we got engaged, from a place of love and concern, my Dad came to speak to me. He wanted to be sure that I’d fully considered what marrying a man with Cystic Fibrosis meant. It meant there was a strong possibility I would be a childless widow by the time I was thirty. And I had fully considered it, yet I wasn’t fearful. Instead, I felt peaceful and confident. I think my reply was along the lines of…
"If God has brought us together, then he has a plan for us, and I trust that he is good, whatever that plan looks like."
Whether God is good or not cannot be something that changes according to the circumstances of the day. We can’t live with doubt on this one. We need to settle it in our hearts. God is good. He is. He really is. What other option is there? That God is unkind? That he’s spiteful? That he’s holding out on you? That he’s only good if you’ve earnt his favour? That’s just not true, on any day or in any season. There’s so much grey in the world, but this is one of those wonderfully 100% black or white situations. God is good, through and through.
You know those times when someone’s had a new tattoo, and you end up talking about what you’d have if you were to get one? I’ve never managed to answer that question. I’m just not sure I could commit to having something inked in my skin for the rest of my life. How could I be sure that I’d still love it just as much in twenty years’ time? Yet there are plenty of tattoos engraved on my heart. “God is good” is one of them. I knew it to be true twenty years ago, and I know it to be true today.
Friends, hold on to this one. Tattoo it on your heart. Build your life upon it. If you hear the enemy stirring up doubt, shut him up quickly, because…