Everyone meet Hannah Dale!
We met a number of years ago at church and have only gotten closer ever since. To know her is to love her. She is one of the most genuine, kind-hearted souls I've ever met.
In her blog today, she shares her story and how through all the negativity and darkness, God's goodness still reigns above it all.
The Goodness of God
I gave my heart and life to Christ at the age of eleven while at church camp. Looking back, it seemed as if that was the moment when I became exposed to the hardships of life and the brokenness of the world. That same year my parents got a divorce.
Then the next year, two family members whom I was really close with passed away within half a year of each other. Entering into high school, my youth group went through a hardship that really harmed my view of leadership in the church and their trustworthiness.
Fast forward to junior year and depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts rear their ugly heads at me. Senior year rolls around and life starts looking up, then my Dad was diagnosed with cancer and passed away within four months.
My college years had an overarching theme of loneliness and always falling short of the incredibly high standards I had set for myself (#enneagram1things).
Now, I am 24 feeling like I am not where I should be in life based on the fact that I moved back in to live with my mama and I was recently put back on anxiety medicine.
The goodness of God is a topic that I could talk about for a hot minute. It is an attribute of His that He constantly brings me back to. When life seems all fine and dandy, it is easy to forget of His goodness.
Just like the Israelites in Exodus 16. They had just been delivered from slavery, walked through the Red Sea, had a time where Moses and Miriam praised the Lord for deliverance, and been provided with drinking water in the desert.
Yet chapter 16 rolls around and it opens with the Israelites saying, “if only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt!” They were literally walking in newfound freedom and witnessing miracles, yet their hearts had fallen captive to forgetting His goodness.
How often do I fall captive to forgetting God’s goodness? Truth be told, more often than not. When small inconveniences pop up in my life, I often set aside the thoughts of remembrance of how good God has been to me and fall into the self-pity and self-reliance trap.
A chapter that God continually brings me back to is Psalm 34, which is headed by the phrase and truth “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Now looking back to Exodus 16, the Israelites could literally taste and see that the Lord is good because He allowed manna to rain down from heaven.
They had a literal physical reminder of His goodness and they turned their hearts from it.
Psalm 34 makes it clear that praise opens the doorway to remembering God’s goodness upon one’s life. The first verse says, “I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” So, when I am face to face with a challenge in life, my first reaction should be to praise the Lord.
Do I do this the majority of the time, nope. But the Lord has revealed to me that when I praise him as my first reaction, I am brought to the remembrance of His goodness. I am reminded of all that He has brought me through, and that if He began a good work in me, He will surely carry it out to completion (Philippians 1:6).
I have come to find that hard times can be soul-centering reminders of how the Lord has carried me in His goodness.
To end off, I would like to leave a few thoughts with you. The first is, you cannot taste the goodness of God if you do not know Him. God sent His Son into the world to live a perfect life and die the death that we deserve. God turned His back on Jesus so that we would get to live in His love and mercy. Jesus conquered death and the grave, rose and ascended into Heaven. Now we await His return so we can live in His glory for eternity.
Now, THAT is some goodness.
The second is, if you do have an active relationship with Christ, I plead for you to not forget His goodness and to not keep His goodness to yourself. Think about all He has carried you through so far and let that allow you to know that He will continue to sustain you.
Share with others about what God has done for you. Why would we not desire for others to experience the goodness that we have ourselves experienced?
So now, go forth and live in the goodness of God.
Proclaim it over the hardships. Proclaim it over those who have not yet tasted of it. And while you are at it, go and read Psalm 34. It is hard to forget about His goodness when you read His Word.
- Hannah Dale
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