I work in this Children's Program at my church. I am in the year 2-3 class. This term we have talking about some attributes of God. We've covered Love, Peace, Patience, and Goodness. Last nite we learned about the Goodness of God. I have been thinking about the goodness of God for a while, but one thing struck me last nite as my friend, James, taught the lesson. Goodness as defined by God is much different than what it is as defined by us. One of the passages that James had the kids look up was Exodus 33:19-20 where God tells Moses that he may not see His (God's) face, but that Moses will see God's goodness pass before Him. No one may see the face of Goodness and live. It seems that there is a terrible and fearsome side to goodness.
One thing that has always been a comfort to me is the quote from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe in discussing Aslan, the god in these books, "Safe! No, He's not safe, but He is good." I've always applied it to my own faith and have aspired to come to grips with a God that is not safe, but whom is good. Interestingly, this same "good" god, Aslan, in another book, The Horse and His Boy, is depicted delivering a little orphan boy to some abusive and reclusive fisherman, wildly chasing and frightening the horses, and attacking the girl in their little band leaving her with scars that will never go away. The reader discovers later Aslan's reasons for all of these things, and is set a little more at ease with him. I know that my God has these same fearsome capabilities. However we may never see His reasons for the things He does. My good God allows babies to starve in Africa, and children to be sold into sex-slavery in Asia. My good God allows hundreds of thousands of people to die in natural disasters. My good God allows 17 year old girls to die in tragic car accidents. My good God could at any moment, take my beloved husband from me. Yet, this same good God has allowed me to meet, fall desperately in love with, and marry my kindred spirit. This same good God has given me the wondrous ability to carry a child, my precious little Sprout. This same good God has sent people to Asia to rescue those little children sold into slavery, and to feed the starving in Africa. My good God, in His terrible goodness, sent His Son, whom He loved more than any human brain can fathom, to die a humiliating, gruesome, and painful death. In His terrible goodness turned His back on this Son whom he loved desperately, and left Jesus all alone on the cross as he was crushed by the weight of the world. His goodness did this to redeem me, and anyone who chooses to believe it.
God's goodness is so much deeper than what I like to see. I like to use the word "good" for ice-cream, and a cute outfit. God sees a much larger goodness than I ever will. The "goodness" of God is not a warm fuzzy thought intended to fill the human heart with nice things. It is a fearsome and awesome thing. It is simultaneously comforting and frightening. This is my good God. My terrible, good God.