“God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.”
I remember my dad saying that several times a day, while he sat in his recliner with a blanket pulled over his lap. We were in Chattanooga, where he and my mom had recently moved for a new job. Not long after he started that job, he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He had never smoked a day in his life.
Just a few months later, in the midst of an aggressive treatment plan, he sat there in that Chattanooga apartment, reminding me that God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. I remember him saying that if the lung cancer got him, then he would be with Jesus, which was joy. And if he beat the lung cancer, he would get to spend more time with his family, which was also joy.
My dad delighted in his children. He was thrilled to know us, to see us grow and explore the world. Even there at the end, he loved talking to us and hearing about our lives, and he was thankful we were there. He passed away in August 2005, and he left me with quite a legacy, one that included celebration, even when things were hard.
I’ve had some hard times in my life. When my marriage ended in 2009, I didn’t know how I was going to get through it. My “plan A” had been to marry a godly woman and raise a family together. When plan A fell apart, I didn’t know who I was or what my life would mean. What was plan B? Being a single father to two little girls? That’s not what I wanted for me... or for them.
My dad’s words echoed in my head. “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.” God could take my broken life and make it something good. In time, I came to embrace my “plan B.” I had two wonderful daughters, and I delighted in them, just as my dad delighted in his kids. I added “single dad” to my Twitter bio, because that’s who I was and I didn’t have to be ashamed. God was good, no matter what heartache came my way. I could celebrate that.
Today, I’m married to a wonderful, godly woman, who is wise and compassionate and hardworking. She’s my partner and my teammate. She loves my daughters, and I love her kids. We’re making a new, blended family together. It’s not quite what I had in mind for plan A, but it’s beautiful. And I celebrate that.
Years ago, I heard a preacher say that we were living in a “post-Easter world.” Before that first Easter, Jesus people didn’t understand God’s plan. The disciplines scattered that Good Friday, thinking that the savior who would overthrow Roman rule was dead. They didn’t get it.
Then Easter happened. And those disciples got to see what God was planning. And through their stories, we got to see what He was planning. Resurrection. Reconciliation. A new heaven and a new earth. Today, we can celebrate, in spite of all that’s hard and all that’s broken, because we’re living in a post-Easter world.
Three years ago, I turned 40. I took a long weekend trip to Utah, to see, hike, and photograph God’s amazing creation. I remember sitting on the edge of a cliff in Canyonlands National Park on my birthday, reflecting on my life. On the hard parts. On the beautiful parts. On the brokenness. On the healing. I sat there and I celebrated God and all that He had done for me.
God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.