by Cathy Martinez
Our good usually does not look the same as God’s good. While our good means easy and joyful, God’s good almost always means difficult and heartbreaking. The two meanings are definitely not the same. Trying to understand God’s reasoning behind the hardships that we face in order to gain His good can be both confusing and discouraging.
This reminds me of the night God spoke to Samuel in 1 Samuel 3. Samuel heard someone calling him and thought it was Eli. By the third time, Eli realized it was God. “So Eli told Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” (v. 9) Samuel went back to sleep and did as Eli instructed. God’s message to Samuel was that Eli’s family would suffer because of their past sins. When morning came, Eli asked Samuel what God had to say. “ ‘Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.’ So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, ‘He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.’ ” (v. 17-18)
Eli opened himself up to the truth of his circumstances and trusted that God’s plan was good no matter what he was about to face. He knew the struggle ahead had nothing to do with himself but was all about the goodness of God and how He saw things. Eli gave up his own control and believed that God’s plan was best for him. Even though Eli knew that heartbreak was coming, the struggles we face today usually come without a warning. Learning to accept that our trials will bring God goodness is a difficult lesson that we can learn from Eli.
I have learned through my struggles that God always has a plan that I usually do not understand. Although He is always trying to teach me some life lesson, His plan is always about Him. There are times when he reveals the reasons behind the heartache, and there are times when I must live without any of the answers that I seek.
Giving up control of my life to God, as Eli did, means that I must see whatever I face as God’s best. Living this way takes God's strength and my unwavering faith because I cannot see the ending result. The more that I resist the path in front of me, the further away I get from the good that God wants to give me. Seeing God in everything I do is the only path to true peace and to letting go of my own need for control. When I do this, my heart opens up and trusts the good in His eyes, even if I cannot see it!