A few years ago I decided to take up running. I desperately wanted to lose weight and every
blog, article and health guru I followed agreed that cardio was the way to trim down. Now, if
you know me at all, you’ll know two things: one, I love food and two, I am not a runner;
however, I wanted to be thin, so running was an evil I was willing to try. At the time, my brother
Sam, or as I so fondly call him, Sammy, heard of my new-found hobby and decided to help his
old sister out. At the time, Sammy was trying to meet some of his personal goals which involved
running. He proposed that we meet at one of the nearby trails and start running together, so, I
decided to give it a go. I met him at the beginning of this trail I had only seen from the freeway
and with my three year old in a jogger, water and snacks in tow we started our new fitness
hobby. I was so out of shape, I was panting like a dog and sweating like a hog. As I was running,
I looked over at Sammy. I watched my brother run. I watched him trying to slow his pace for
me. I listened to him goad me on with encouraging words (most likely because he saw I
appeared to be going into cardiac arrest) and I watched my little brother RUN.
Now, I need to back up a bit. My relationship with my brother is one that could never be
replicated. I am the oldest of five and Sammy is the third child in the lineup. When Sam was
little, he was my personal responsibility, or so I thought. I carried him everywhere. I loved my
little Sammy. As we grew older our relationship changed. We got older but he was still mine. He
still held a special spot in my heart. When Sammy turned ten he was given a card that nobody
should ever have to be dealt. My brother was diagnosed with cancer. I was not living in the
family home at the time, but I remember so vividly the day my dad told me the prognosis.
Though I remember only a few words: “It’s in the Lord’s hands” “He’s strong” “The outcome is
going to be a good one.” I vividly remember sitting in shock after talking to my dad. I remember
thinking of every outcome that wasn’t a positive one. I asked WHY. I asked a God that I was far
from, a God that I was not fully convinced of, a God that seemed so unjust and unfair. I wept
and I asked why.
I can’t tell you how many times in my winding walk with the Lord, where I have
wondered why. I have experienced loss of friends, I have seen countless wrongs never made
right, I have walked roads that still, to this day, make no sense. I have recently walked down a
road where I have wondered why. I have looked around at the haze of what once made sense
but all of a sudden, in one quick swoop, it didn’t. However, there was a difference in this haze.
A difference in the same question I had asked when I found out my Sammy had cancer. A few of
months ago, I was walking outside. I was walking because I felt like I physically and emotionally
couldn’t breathe. I felt the weight of so many things and I cried out “WHY!?” Just as I uttered
those words, The Lord spoke. “I AM STILL GOOD.” I stopped walking and wept. My “whys”
started rolling in. Why was I hurt so badly when I was an adolescent? Why am I here? Why
have you found me in this place? Why did my brother get cancer….Why am I hurting so badly
now? He answered once again, “I AM STILL GOOD.”
Back to when I was running with my brother, we went on several together after that first
run. We ran all the way from our suburban neighborhood to the sandy beaches of Torrey Pines.
We explored so many rolling hills and hidden trails together. But when I was running that first
time and I looked over and saw my brother run. I felt it in my spirit. It was as if the Lord was preparing me for a walk I would take alone years later. I tasted and saw that HE IS GOOD. That
night I cried out to my heavenly father I was reminded of that run. I was reminded of that
moment when I saw my brother doing an impossible. There was no earthly explanation why
my Sammy was able to run next to me that day. No other explanation other than the sheer and
utter goodness of God.
I found a scribble in my journal from a while ago. It simply said this, “My outcome does
not determine HIS GOODNESS”. See friends, the way we see life as human beings can be so
black and white. Sometimes that can extend to the Father. “I suffer, so it must be something he
knows about and is causing or allowing.” Can I be so bold to say, that we aren’t entitled to
know the outcome of our sufferings? Sometimes we need to look around and see that He is
good. That regardless of the pain, regardless of the suffering and regardless of the outcome, HE
is still Good. I challenge you today to stop and see the wonder of his Goodness. I have no idea if
this applies to you. Maybe it doesn’t and it’s for the road ahead. Maybe you are in a place of
questioning the savior and you say “Stephany, I don’t understand and He won’t give me any
answers.” I will be honest with you. I did not receive a single answer that night I cried and
asked why. I did not get an ounce of clarity or a voice in the wind to make sense of my pain. I
was simply told to know that HE is good. My sweet friend, I would extend this to you, your
outcome is not in any way, shape or form a reflection of the Fathers love for you. Oh, how I
wish I could make sense of it all with you. However, I truly believe that when I meet my savior
on the other side of eternity, it will all make sense… or not. but either way, I will be standing
face to face with my maker and He will be, as he always has been… Good.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!Psalm 34:8
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