More on God’s Goodness and Faith’s Struggle

As I’ve said before in my wrestling on this: The struggle of faith in the midst of pain and suffering is not, I do not think, a question of God’s existence (though it may come to that), as it is a question of God’s goodness. It is not a question, it does not seem to me, of his power, but of his will. It is not a question, it seems to me, of God as sovereign but of God as Father. Is the God that exists, good? Does he want to do me good? Does he love me?

The locus of the satisfaction of these questions is not the mind, but the heart. So if Pascal: “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing,” then so it is that the heart requires answers that reason may not, often does not, touch. And what does this heart want? Certainly the relief of the sorrow. The promise of hope. The incarnate embrace.

But what if these do not come? What if sorrow continues? What if hope is not given? What if there is little else but silence and solitude? How does one continue?

One hardly knows how to answer these things. But perhaps one may glean wisdom from one’s own daughters. We sat at dinner last evening. I’d read a portion of Matthew from the children’s New Testament I’d gotten from my maternal grandparents when I was only slightly older than Sofie, more than thirty years ago. (It is one I will without question pass down to my daughters.) And Sofie began to remind me of an important truth: “Daddy,” she said, “Jesus is in our hearts.” “Yes, he is,” I said.

She then turned to Delaina and clarified, “Jesus is in Daddy’s heart, and Baby Jesus is in your heart and Baby Jesus is in my heart.” There is a fine, Talladega-Nights-theological-point there, I am sure, but it will take me a while to divine it.

So, I suppose that if God may ordain praise from the mouths of infants and children, it may well be that he can also through them bring his revelation to the sorrowing heart. A heart which needs the Gospel and the Jesus Prayer so as to bring Christ into the heart.

3 thoughts on “More on God’s Goodness and Faith’s Struggle

  1. It has been awhile since I have seen your New Testament. Your grandparents are blessed to know that you have passed on your faith to your daughters. Out of the mouths of babes… isn’t that the way it goes. That is so precious of Sofie to explain to Delania. She may be the next little missionary in the family. Love you and kiss my little granddaughters for me. Tell them I will see them soon.

  2. Thanks, Mom.

    I have such an embarrassment of riches when it comes to my heritage: the Baptist roots of Dad’s family, the Restoration Movment roots from your family. I remember sitting in Grandpa and Grandma Healy’s living room in their farmhouse south of Hamilton, Kansas, being introduced to the Navigators’ magazine, The Daily Walk as a Bible reading tool, and Great Aunt Bessie and Great Uncle Arlie talking with Grandma and Grandpa about the Bible. And of course there are the wonderful memories I have of continually stealing into Grandpa Thompson’s study and reading his books on preaching and ministry, of sitting in church and listening to him preach. I remember being taken aback a bit by yours and Aunt Debbie’s comments about Grandpa’s strong stances on doctrine. Of course I don’t remember him being weak on Christian teaching, but what I do remember most of all is the patient and gracious love that he communicated in that teaching.

    I have a huge responsibility, and a delightful one, to pass on all those Christian riches to my girls. Thank God some of those treasures are being appropriated in their little lives.

  3. I just have to share one more thing with your readers. Sofie reminds me of when you were little. She is ministering to her little sister. I remember when you were about 10 years old and I looked out the kitchen window to see you sitting on the wood pile with Bret the neighbor boy. You had your New Testament and you were sharing Jesus with him. You started sharing your faith at a very early age. Now your legacy is in your daughters. Praise God for this. Love you.

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