[Part 7, Chapter 49]
Our daughter was three-years-old. As she was thanking God for breakfast one day, she added, “And Jesus, have a great time in my heart today!”
No wonder Jesus said he has hidden things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children.
Little children naturally know how to ask for goodness … and receive it!
We sometimes feel disqualified from goodness. It comes to other people, but not to me! The disgrace we experience has filtered out the very goodness that has the capacity to transform the way we see ourselves.
Goodness, like favour, is received. It is gifted. It is a fruit of the Spirit, that fruit being the very qualities of God himself. Because you are in Christ and Christ lives in you, goodness is already a characteristic implanted into you.
Goodness is accessed. Because we have it as part of our identity, we can apply it to the way we are feeling, the situations we find ourselves in, the challenges ahead of us, as well as to any doubts or fears we may be experiencing. Accessing goodness is as simple and bold as saying, “Jesus, have a great time in my heart today.”
Goodness is recognised. We receive it, access it, and then we recognise the goodness all around us. Goodness is to become our starting point. Today is a new day. I am a new creation. Favour is mine. We begin to see it in what we have, rather than what we’re missing out on. We see it in the steps we’ve taken forward, rather than those where we’ve slipped back. We begin to see that which is already ours.
Goodness is in rest. King David said, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6). I stop. Stop rushing, stop self-incriminating, stop comparing, stop complaining, stop criticising. And when I stop, I find the goodness I’ve been running from not only catches me, but it captivates me. Goodness isn’t lagging fifty metres behind. Goodness is pursuing me, waiting for me to stop and see it is already around me.
Goodness is our security. King David also said, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Psalm 23:5). When faced with disgrace and shame, we tend to either run and hide or lash out and defend ourselves. Surrounded by negativity and hurt, God invites us to sit down and have a banquet. When we’re eating and drinking with him, we’re not focussed on those things with potential to harm us. Rather, we’re focused on the goodness set before us, the closeness of his presence, the excellence of what we’re drinking and eating.
All the time the battle around us is raging, and he’s saying, “It’s okay, I’ve got it. I’ll fight it, you eat and drink with me. I’m so honoured to have your presence. I’m having a great time in your heart today.”