I heard it a few times throughout the weekend, God telling me that my definition of “good” wasn’t good enough. I feel like He has been showing me and wants to keep showing me a deeper good than I’ve known in the past. A different good. A good not based on warm fuzzies or happy emotion, but on truth and purpose. A good based on the peace and profound satisfaction that comes from knowing you’re in the place where the way God made you fits the need before you….just right. No square pegs in round holes here. Happiness is not necessarily the manifestation of this type of good, not always anyway.
I heard Him telling me most clearly as I sat in the room where the church council and leaders had gathered to hear John’s philosophy of ministry and ask him questions. Throughout the day I had felt awkward at times, a little out-of-place at times, the typical stuff that happens when you’re in a group of complete strangers trying to make friends in a really short time. The entire weekend was scheduled so that we could try to get to know the people in this particular church and hopefully so they could know us enough to decide whether or not we should help lead them as pastor and pastor’s wife.
“The main point here,” I distinctly heard God say to me in my heart, “is not whether or not you see someone in this room right now that you think will be your best friend or that the people here make you feel comfortable. The point in all of this is that I’m answering your prayer, the prayer you offer that matches up with my passionate love for all my people. You know, the one you’ve been praying for over a year now that John would be able to serve in a place where his gifts fit just right and his ministry would bear fruit. John has prayed that the rest of his ministry would be his most effective years. There is a deeper good than what you’ve typically sought. This time is going to be different. Step forward in faith. It’s not about you, but it IS good. My kind of good.” I felt incredible peace hearing those words from Him and it settled my heart and mind. The truth of it caused a light to go on inside…all the lessons we’ve been learning were preparing us for precisely this place and time. Fulfillment comes in using what God made us to be to love and serve people. And He’s going to use us to do that very thing in this group of people and this community. Remember when Jesus told his disciples, when they urged him to eat after visiting with the Samaritan woman who found truth and hope, that he didn’t need to eat the bread they brought. His bread was doing what God had sent him to do. It filled Him up and satisfied Him. It was good!
Although I’m an optimist, I’ve also learned to be realistic – it helps with the coping of life in general, don’t you think? We can tell that with these people there will be lots of fun times and lots of laughter. They are a close family and have already shown such thoughtfulness and caring to us. That is really good! John and I remind each other often, however, that there will be challenges wherever we go, there will be hard times and some hurt, there will be quandaries and times of total cluelessness, frustrations and even failures. Those things are all wrapped up in the good God is leading us to though! Those types of situations are the very things that have caused us to grow up so much this year and that is definitely good.
I’m pretty sure God uses correct grammar and would never tell me that what He has to teach me is a gooder good, but so much of what God teaches and who He is can’t fully be described by our English language: His nature, His ways, His thoughts, His love, His purpose, His character. I just know compared to all that I’ve understood before…it’s gonna be gooder.