By: Meghan Schultz
I was recently reminded of a powerful characteristic of God I definitely haven’t acknowledged enough — how GOOD He is!
A few weeks ago, as a leader of my school’s junior class Kairos retreat, I watched high school juniors I’d been praying and loving for years encounter Jesus in an incredible way. I have never seen so many people crack open the doors to their hearts and allow Jesus to burst through that opening. All around me, people I’d poured out my time and heart for were standing up and thanking God for Himself. I was speechless. They saw the light, and despite some of them barely understanding what it is, they knew there was something MORE there. These retreatants looked at their leaders, looked at each other, looked at the cross, and they knew there was Someone greater.
They became unafraid to get up in front of their classmates and talk about what they were experiencing, without shame or fear of rejection. Friends of mine handed me letters depicting their changes of heart that made me want to cry and leap for joy at the same time. One retreatant said it best when he got up to share on the last day of the retreat: “I don’t want to go home.”
“I don’t want to SEND you home,” I thought, my eyes filling with tears, as I watched him allow his small group and new friends to embrace him wholeheartedly. That was one of the only times I truly cried on that retreat. There was new light, new life, new overwhelming HOPE beaming through them! Why did we have to take them away from an uplifting, loving environment where they felt at peace with themselves? Why did we have to let them go?
Well, because they were never ours in the first place. They had always been His.
My time on that mountain top watching ministry come alive might have ended, but the love we’d learned wasn’t going away so easily, and the God we’d met wasn’t going anywhere, ever. All weekend, I heard stories of how the juniors had been love to themselves and others. My prayer was a thank you, rather than a demand for an explanation. They are mine, the Lord says, and my hands are never going to falter as I hold them, and my legs will never grow weary when they run from me.
The Lord was so, so, so completely GOOD that week. He showed up, broke down walls, and changed both minds and hearts. But what I am realizing is that he will be just as good this week, when I am not away on a profound retreat with inexplicably, beautifully, wonderful people. He will be just as good in the ordinary things. He will be there when someone pushes the last button I have to press, when I am left holding back tears at a friend’s desk (while also trying to review a homework assignment), or when I’ve slept through a dozen alarms after an especially long week. God is still good. He will be there when we see the fruit of labors of love come to life before our eyes, when we watch people fling open or crack the door to their hearts so that the King can enter.
He sends friends to comfort us when we’re down, energy when we need it the most, and a glimpse into His infinite love when we’ve been blind to it.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26)
If the God who breathed stars into existence and sculpted the earth from nothing, in his goodness, ensures there is food for a random flock of birds, how can we not have the utmost confidence that he will care for each of us who are his beloved children just as well? He does not forget about us. He sees us on the mountaintop during a retreat. In his infinite goodness, he will see us through the valley below, through everyday life, just as well.