“Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.”—Psalm 23:6 (NLT)
How many times have you read or heard Psalm 23? This chapter may be the most quoted and memorized in the entire Bible after John 3:16. But a few years ago, my pastor spoke on Psalm 23, and he said something that changed my perspective forever. How had I never considered this in all the years and times I had read the ending of Psalm 23?
What did my pastor say that transformed the reality of these words in my life?
It was actually a question. He simply asked, “If goodness and unfailing love are pursuing us all the days of our lives, why don’t we stop and let them catch up to us?”
My goodness. Why, indeed? Why would we not stop and turn around to embrace God’s goodness and unfailing love, letting it wash over every part of us?
Since that day, reflecting on God's goodness and letting the goodness of God catch up to me has been my constant desire.
“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.”—Psalm 27:13 (NLT)
A Story of Reflecting on God’s Goodness
And yet, usually, reflecting on God’s goodness is easier said than done.
Can we find the goodness of God pursuing us when we are stuck in traffic?
- Or when a friend rejects us?
- Or when our refrigerator breaks?
- Or when we get a flat tire?
Not too long ago, I got a flat tire when I ran over something on the road that punctured my carefully maintained Michelins. I immediately began to pray and speak the name of Jesus out loud. I was on the interstate and not totally sure what to do. I did not want to stop on the shoulder with cars whizzing past at 80 miles per hour.
I looked for the next exit, and because of God’s goodness, I was almost to it and in the right lane to exit. My car hobbled along the exit ramp, and I turned right onto the smaller road, looking for a safe spot out of the way to pull over.
The first thing I saw was a JEEP logo on a large sign with a massive parking lot of cars for sale behind it. I figured their parking lot was big enough, so I pulled in and parked. As I turned my car off, I prepared to step out and survey the damage. Looking up as I opened the door, I saw the service garage entrance for the Jeep dealership less than 100 feet from where I had parked.
I stepped out of the car, and before I had even had a chance to walk around my car and look at the tire, a burly man was coming out of the service garage in my direction.
“Are you okay?” he asked as he approached.
“Yes, I guess so,” I answered, “I just got a flat tire out on the highway and somehow made it here.”
That service technician from the Jeep dealership proceeded to change my flat tire for me and would not accept any payment when I offered it. It was 100 degrees outside, and I waited in the balmy, air-conditioned service garage waiting room while he put my spare tire on for me. From there, all I had to do was drive another half mile down the road to the Discount Tire shop that just happened to also be off that exit. Within 2 hours, I had a new tire that matched the other three and was back on my way home.
“The people of the world will see all the good I do for My people, and they will tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them.”—Jeremiah 33:9 (NLT)
While I was waiting, again in the beautifully air-conditioned Discount Tire lounge, I asked God why He had let this happen. The answer came quickly.
My Heavenly Father allowed me to get a flat tire because He wanted to demonstrate to me how perfectly He could take care of me and provide for me in a situation that I could never have handled on my own. He wanted to show me His goodness in the midst of difficulty.
And today, I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. When I am in trouble now, and sometimes it is much more than a flat tire, I often find myself reflecting on God’s goodness through a flat tire. How perfectly He positioned the exit, the Jeep dealership, the kind service technician, and the Discount Tire. He planned every detail to showcase His goodness.
And I know He is going to continue to take care of me with His goodness, no matter the situation.
Reflect on God’s Goodness This Past Year!
With less than a month left in 2023 and the craziness of the holidays everywhere we look, will you spend some time reflecting on God’s goodness to you? Where do you need to stop in your life and let the goodness of God catch up to you?
Maybe it is a broken refrigerator or a flat tire. Or perhaps it is a broken relationship or a lost loved one. The size of the situation does not matter. Everything is doable for the God of the Universe.
Let Him show you His goodness, and make sure you are not going so fast that He cannot catch you! He is able!“In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness.”—Hosea 3:5 (NLT)