Ginger and Lola joined the menagerie of animals at Sweet Pea Farms not long ago. Two dense, squat pigs, loud, adorable, and rascally intelligent, but not very trusting.
The pigs came to the farm, timid and skittish. First thing, they were brought inside the house and fed treats on the white tile floor. They snuffled and squealed and rooted to the delight of their new family.
In the evening, these pigs were safely tucked in for the night, and the barn grew quiet, everyone settled for the night. At chore time the following day, my daughter discovered the pigs were gone. Quiet was the barnyard; absent were their squeals and grunts. Everyone looked and called for them to come home. Later, my daughter found them hidden under the barn shed. The two girls had pulled back the wooden lattice and pushed through the narrow opening. The little pigs (relatively speaking) were hiding in the dark, in the shadowy recesses of the barn’s crawl space.
These two pigs were not convinced of the goodness that awaited them—plentiful fresh water, a copious amount of feed, secured protection, and lots of attention. Their instinctual fears sent them into hiding; forgotten were the gentle hands and the warmth of the barn. The pigs forgot the great goodness offered to them the night before. Granted, these pigs only had one night of experience of this good place they had landed, but they continued to run and hide for days after this. Now, Ginger and Lola are far more trusting, and as a result, have grown quite plump and friendly.
We are so often like Ginger and Lola—so timid, skeptical, and fearful. We tend to have spiritual amnesia. We don’t remember God’s goodness, or we aren’t convinced of its reliability or actuality.
Let’s recall David’s conclusion in Psalm 23—surely goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Here in this context, surely is not just a hopeful adverb denoting wishful thinking, but the word carries the weight of certainty.
One of the pivotal hinges of God’s character is goodness (Exodus 33:18-19), and if we do not believe in the goodness of God, we will never experience or know him fully. Understanding that God is good is essential to our faith.
Until Ginger and Lola were convinced of the goodness of my daughter’s family, they could not receive what was offered. Experiencing the goodness of their new family daily taught them to trust.
Until we are convinced of the goodness of God, we won’t be able to completely receive what he offers us. Experiencing the goodness of God daily teaches us to trust him, so we stop hiding in the dark, under the barn.
During Advent, we are reminded that the Goodness of God arrived in the flesh. It came manifested in Jesus; he came here to pursue us. As we move into this Season, may we become fully persuaded and convinced of the goodness of God.