Here’s an encouraging devotional post from my distinguished and awesome husband, Dr. Timothy Wright:
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6)
That’s quite a promise. It’s a promise that breaks my heart wide open causing it to overflow with streams of tears and fits of laughter.
Do I even dare to believe that it’s true?
Of course I’m going to “say” that I believe it and maybe even say it out loud to people either to impress them with how spiritual I am or, with less self-deprecation, to sincerely bless them with these powerful words of encouragement.
To be honest, these words have been “wrecking” me during my personal times of devotion and reflection. They seem to usher in the presence of the Lord as I read them or repeat them to myself. I have experienced SO much of the goodness and mercy of the Lord in my life. It’s difficult to even type these words without being reminded of … and sometimes overwhelmed by … the abundance of blessings that have flooded my experience in nearly every area.
I’ll resist the temptation to try to list them. First of all, it would be impossible to adequately communicate the layers and layers and depths of God’s Goodness that have been poured out in every season. Secondly, it would pull my focus toward the blessings and away from the one who blesses. Right now, I want to focus on Him.
What is “goodness”?
I have a vivid memory of a time, just a couple of years ago, when I was worshiping during a Sunday evening church service. I remember that as I was closing my eyes and raising my hands and allowing the worship music to wash over me, I silently said to the Lord, “You are good.”
Almost immediately after I said this, I was struck with another thought that surprised me with its clarity and power. It doesn’t seem that profound when writing it down, but at the time it hit me like the proverbial load of bricks.
The thought went something like this: “You’re REALLY good.”
It started slowly, but as these simple words trickled down into my consciousness, they started a chain reaction that steadily grew into an emotional avalanche.
“Wow, Lord. You are GOOD!”
“You are not only good, You are GOODNESS itself!”
“There is nothing that is NOT Good in You!
“Because You are GOODNESS and my life belongs to You, WHATEVER You allow to happen in my life is going to be GOOD.”
“You love me. You’re not going to allow anything that is NOT good into my life.”
“I can trust You COMPLETELY with my life, because you are TRULY GOOD.”
“There are no ‘shadows’ or hidden agendas or self-serving manipulations or anything impure or compromised in You. You are COMPLETELY and TOTALLY GOOD.”
“You desire nothing but GOODNESS in my life.”
“You are TRULY ‘WORTHY’ of honor. You are HONORABLE. You are NOBLE! You are the definition and essence of what it means to be GOOD.”
“Lord, You are GOOD! You are GOODNESS! There is NOTHING that is NOT good in You!”
I’m not entirely sure how long this silent soliloquy of worship continued. All I know is that I found myself literally lying on the floor in a puddle of tears, vacillating between sobbing and fits of laughter, as wave after wave of revelation about God’s GOODNESS swept over me.
So as I’ve been reading and meditating on Psalm 23 lately, I keep being reminded of God’s goodness in my life. Even some of the “hard” things reveal His goodness and His kindness as I look back on them.
His mercy in my life is humbling. He has redeemed things that the enemy of my soul nearly succeeded in destroying. Deep things. Important things. Things that can’t be replaced.
So His promise to me is very real and very meaningful and “yes,” I really DO believe it. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Tim Wright, Ph.D.