God's Goodness in Question (What do you believe?)

But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. ~Psalm 73:28

There are rumblings among some of my friends. Now in they're thirties and forties, they're finding things to be wholly other than they thought in the post-college, eyes-wide shut days. To them, God's goodness is in question, it being inadvertently linked to their everyday circumstance. Promising careers have turned into laborious drudgery. There are houses high-centered on the market, families struggling to make ends meet. The family illness, the church split, the separation, the divorce--it's all got them running amok. Living in a carnival of uncertainty, they point to proof after proof of a failing god, of an impotent gospel.

But there are others who see God's grace is deep and wide, less like a fountain and more like the mighty Mississippi. They live in this river, the one whose streams make glad cities, homes, and hearts.  They haven't been spared the troubles or sorrows of this world. In fact some of them have suffered a double-barreled blast.

Consider John Ray.  I sat on his porch last week while the first cold front blew across the Ozarks.  October  is especially stark for him, it being the month he lost his youngest daughter. John reminisced a bit, shared good memories, painful ones, too. But in the end he affirmed the truth--God is good in security, he says, but he's equally good in insecurity.  God is good outside of circumstance because that's his nature.

It's a gutsy affirmation, I know. I wonder whether I believe it. Really? In earnest? Do you?

Starting next week, we're going to be exploring some themes here. What doesn't God promise? What does he promise? How do we hold the two in tension, recognizing His goodness?  Is it possible to see God in the failing circumstance?

I hope you'll visit. But in the meantime, tell me: what do you believe about God? Really? No holds barred. And if you need to hold a bar or two, feel free to comment anonymously.