Yep, that’s my saying. “It’s all good.” I have probably said that more times than I care to even attempt to count. Just the other day I was sharing part of my story, part of what has shaped me into the person I am today. At one point in the conversation, I did it. I quoted my line, “but it’s all good.” For the first time that I can remember, the person to whom I was speaking called me out and challenged me about that sentence. This person asked me how I could possibly believe that it is really all good given the junk I have experienced. Great question.
My life has been no bed of roses, but at the same time, it has not been nearly as difficult as others. I have always had a roof over my head, always had food (although not always what I’d like), always had clean drinking water, and always had family who loved me. I’ve also lost a lot. My parents divorced when I was 8, I saw more death in a 3 year span than I ever care to repeat, I struggled through early years of ministry, and I experienced the joy of victory in ministry as I have seen students and adults respond to Christ while also suffering the agony of my students taking their own lives or the lives of others. Then, last year, I watched helplessly as my wife and I endured our toughest battle yet. My wife began suffering from seizure-like symptoms that were unexplained medically. For much of the last year, we have battled through discovering the cause and seeking both treatment from physicians and healing from the Lord.
As I was sharing parts of this story, the person to whom I was speaking told me it was okay to say that this was crap. Honestly, I wrestled with that for awhile. Did God give me a raw deal? Did I have a lousy hand? Then I wrestled with the other side of the coin: Did I really think my life was that bad? Look how many have endured so much worse? Was I being selfish to feel like what I had experienced was unfair? These questions, and others, caused me to really do some soul searching.
Then, it happened. one of my best friends, and the BEST Christian Hip Hop artist in the game, dropped a new song: Panopticon. Admittedly, I had to look it up too, so go ahead, open a new window in your browser and look it up so you can get the rest of this. I’ll wait…Ok, good. In the song the artist talks about how he wishes that he could go back and speak some truth into the life of his younger self. He essentially looks at the panoramic view of his life and sees the markers that have shaped him into who he is today. Then, it hit me: It IS all good! No, my life is not all good because of what I have or what I have not experienced, but because of WHO I have and WHAT He has been doing.
In each of the positive things I mentioned above, from having food to having shelter to having those who love me, God has taught me that He is faithful and has a purpose for my life. In each of the challenges I have faced (and will face), God has continued to show me how gracious He is. During the season where so many family members died, I cannot explain to you the peace that comforted me. The divorce of my parents prepared me to respond with grace and sympathy to those who are experiencing the same. Walking the journey with my wife over the last year has shown me more of God’s goodness, mercy, grace, and love than I can ever express. There have been times of pain, but the results of knowing the Lord so much more intimately and experiencing deeper fellowship with Him have definitely outweighed the pain. So, yes, it REALLY is all good! Why? Because my God is good and even in the crappiest, most painful moments, He is working in my life for my good and His glory! It’s all good!
P.s. If you want to check out the video I mentioned above for yourself (and you should), check it out here.