Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Okay, silly question. I’m sure everyone of you has felt overwhelmed. (If you cooked the Thanksgiving meal for the first time this year, I’m guessing you might have felt overwhelmed.)
I must admit I’ve been completely overwhelmed this past week, but it’s for reasons you might not expect.
- A friend calls to ask if she can watch my kids so I can pack our things to move.
- Our Sunday school class throws us a going away party.
- They take the time to write notes of encouragement which are worth more than any amount of money.
- They actually give us money to help with moving.
- The girls bought me necklaces to remind me that no matter where I am, I am loved by some pretty special and amazing Oklahoma ladies. 🙂
- Another friend calls to see if she can watch the boys over the weekend so I can pack while my husband is gone.
- Sunday evening one of the girls from my class brings over meals so I can finish packing my kitchen.
- Monday morning another one of the girls brings more meals to last until we move on Thursday.
- Monday my dad comes to help finish things around the house that my husband would have done (except that he had to start working at his new job in Houston that day). He spent the whole day there.
- Monday evening a group of people from my class come over to help move boxes and do some heavy lifting so I don’t have to (and because I can’t…being 5 months pregnant will do that to you…and who am I kidding, I’m a light weight anyway!)
- Tuesday I get multiple calls, texts, and fb messages asking how people can help for loading day on Wednesday.
- Tuesday evening my mom drove up to help that night and the next day. She’s incredibly amazing and can do everything (watch the kids, clean, pack, load…oh yeah).
- Tuesday (LATE) evening my husband and his mom flew in from Houston and our SS teacher picked them up at the airport since he just happened to be in the City. My mother-in-law is also amazing and helped with pretty much everything. These ladies deserve medals.
- Wednesday a neighbor (who is also part of our class) asks if she can watch my boys while we are loading everything onto the moving truck. THIS SAVED MY LIFE…and my kids’ lives…you get my drift? She watched them all day.
- Wednesday morning at least 15 different people came through to help load up our things. And they were HAPPY to do it. Such servants…
- When we realized that not everything would fit into the U-Haul, we called my dad who had already offered another trailer. He got it ready and brought it down in time to finish loading up everything that night. He also drove it ALL THE WAY to Houston that following Friday.
- Wednesday night our SS teachers had made dinner for an army and let us join them so we didn’t have to worry about what to do for dinner. *Sigh* I love these people.
- Because we had no beds or blankets, a church friend offered their home while they were away visiting family for Thanksgiving. (Is anyone crying with me yet? I just can’t even…)
- We were somehow able to leave on Thursday (yes, Thanksgiving day) and the traffic was absolutely perfect (you know this is a miracle if you’ve ever driven through downtown Dallas people. a miracle.).
- We arrived safely that evening and were welcomed by my husband’s family who also helped unload the truck into our storage unit the next day. (and his parents are letting us stay in their home until our home is built…which isn’t until the end of March!)
- We got to have Thanksgiving dinner that night 🙂
My heart is full. And it is overwhelmed by the kindness of God and His people.
I didn’t list all of those things to make you think I’m someone great but to show you how truly GREAT our God is and how amazing His people are when they simply follow the voice of the Father. They were His hands and feet in the most literal sense. And just imagine countless other things they have done even before this week approached, not just for me, but for others.
I’m sure I’ll be overwhelmed in other ways in the coming weeks (like when my kids disappear in this massive home and I find them “cleaning” the toilet or “playing” in the hot tub or “decorating” grandma’s bathroom or…you get the picture). All I need to do is look back at how I have been overwhelmed by His goodness and just remember. He took care of me then, He’s going to care for me today. And the next day. And always.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
Your view of God as being a good Creator will have an influence on all areas of life. Take this for an example: how you view yourself. He only creates good things. (Remember Genesis, everything God created was good. He called it all good.) We are made in His image (also from Genesis 1:26). No, we can’t really say that we ourselves are good. We are sinful from birth. Yet when He calls us out of that past life into a life following Him, He gives us a new identity–one that is good. We see God as good, and this affects how we see ourselves.
How you view God influences how you view other people. This also relates to how you view yourself, as created in His image. All people are created in His image, and because of this we have dignity. We place high value on human life when we have the right perspective of our Good God because He values each and every life. We will treat people respectfully, kindly, better than ourselves, and all of the above because we know what value He has placed on their lives and how He has called us to serve and bless them. We see God as good, and this affects how we see others.
The way you perceive God has an effect on your values – how you parent, how you cultivate your marriage, how you feed your friendships. If I know that my God is good and has affection toward me even when I don’t deserve it, that informs the way I’m going to handle my children when they’re having a particularly bad day. He does not treat me harshly when I disobey nor does He yell and scream at me when I’ve made a mistake. He’s a perfect parent. Thank God we have Him as an example! We see God as good, and this affects how we live out our values.
My perspective on God has an effect on how I approach work. Knowing that God is good gives me a sense of confidence and cheer because I get to serve a God who loves me. I’m filled with gratitude that He pours out His love on me ESPECIALLY when I don’t deserve it. I’m overwhelmed by His goodness when He withholds punishment just because He desires to show mercy. I love much because I’ve been forgiven much and this fills my heart with joy. So as I go about my day at work whether at home or in an office, I can do my work as though I were doing it for Him. My perspective will be one of gratitude that He’s even provided me with the task at hand. We see God as good, and this affects how we approach our work.
There are so many examples of how our theology, our doctrine, or what we believe about God affects our actions every day. Let us be brave to believe the truth about God, search out that truth when we don’t know it, and rest in the truth when trials come our way. And may we put our knowledge into practice.
Many of you may be wondering, how is this girl going to tell me everything I should know about God in just 3 posts? Well, I’m not. But I do want you to take away one important characteristic about God that is crucial for our perspective on life. If you learn one thing today about God, it is that He is GOOD.
His goodness translates into kindness, love, moral uprightness. It really crosses over into a lot of areas. A definition of God’s goodness in my Systematic Theology book says it is,
“that perfection of God which prompts Him to deal bountifully and kindly with all His creatures. It is the affection which the Creator feels towards His…creatures.” (Berkhof, p. 70)
That one word. Did you catch it? Affection. His goodness is His affection that He feels toward us, and as you well know it produces a response in the Creator to act in kind ways toward us, not because we deserve it but because He WANTS to do it. He loves us for His own sake. How good can you get?
Can you see how your perspective may differ from the person who thinks God is malevolent and vindictive, desiring to punish and do harm to the people He’s created? You wouldn’t trust such a god. You would actually think that god had nothing good in mind for you or anyone else. So when a trial came your way, you might see God as punishing you because He certainly wouldn’t be looking at you in your trial with affection and concern, eager to work good in your situation or through your trial. A bad God, who can trust?
But a good God? Well we can trust Him! If you know deep in your heart that His intentions toward you are good because there is nothing else He can be but good, how could you question His heart when a trial came your way? Out of His goodness comes grace (unmerited goodness or love to those under condemnation) and mercy (the goodness or love of God shown to those who are in misery or distress, ready to relieve their distress).
This is not to say that you don’t have moments of doubt or wonder what God is doing. But it is in those moments that you go back to what you know to be true of Him. You KNOW that He is GOOD. You KNOW that His intentions toward you are GOOD. And you know that He cannot act in a way that is contrary to His nature. So you’re left with the choice…do you believe what His word says about Him?
[Stay tuned for Part 3]