Up to Good

Up to Good May 30, 2012
Artwork by Brandi Hurt Dayton


Ann Voskamp wrote a thoughtful piece about perspective. In it she states “God is only up to good work.”

That statement has the power to transform our lives, and this world,

if only we believed it.

But we don’t.

Too often, too many of us most often expect that God’s up to no-good

That he’s out to get us

Pay us back for all our failures

Such mentality is the result of sin.

For all our sophistication we’ve never really advanced much past the blame-game of the Garden of Eden.

When things go badly for us

We blame God.

It happened this way.

The flight out of Baltimore was delayed for two hours.

We sat patiently on the runway, air conditioning blasting.

The storm blew through Charlotte, allowing us to finally complete our flight.

But there were delays that required overnight stays.

Hotel bills that the airlines did not feel obligated to pay for.

“This was an Act of God,” the airline rep explained. “Sorry.”

Ironic in that she was a rep for U. S. Airways.

It’s the way of thinking for too many Americans

When there is poverty, job loss, foreclosure, divorce, death, child abuse, domestic abuse, drug abuse, delayed flights, business deals or investments gone bad

Why God? we cry out.  Why?

Yet, if the pilot catches a tailwind that makes all the flights on-time, and the ride pleasant, if everyone is cheerful and well-rested

Why does the airlines not make the announcement upon a smooth landing

Thank you, God?

We think of Acts of God as always being hurtful, always punishing

Why no resounding applause for the

Acts of God

that bless us?

Even our failures, says Bob Goff in his new book Love Does: The thing I love about God is that he intentionally leads us into failure.

The delays

The disappointments

The disasters.

Even in the midst of all that

God is still working for our good

for our transformation

If only we believed in His goodness

with the same conviction with which we believe

God’s out to punish us.

“I used to be afraid of failing at things that really mattered to me,but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” Bob Goff/Love Does








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  • And isn’t this the essence of the fall? God is not good, or at least not good enough. We question the world he gave us, why we can’t have this or that, why there is only one way. We do all of these things and overlook all the good he does give while also minimizing our responsibility in the fallen state of the world we live in.

    There’s so much here Karen!

    I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Bob Goff’s book. I’m putting it on my reading list now.

  • Tim

    That closing quote from Goff is excellent, but I appreciated even more the way you put this:

    Why no resounding applause for the Acts of God that bless us?

    Psalm 103:1-2 encourages us to do just that, but it sure seems easier to blame than to bless a lot of the time. Do you think there is something inherently less strenuous in tearing down than building up, even in this metaphorical sense?

    Blessings to you for provoking these thoughts today, Karen. Nicely done.


  • Liz

    Amen and Hallelujah!

  • turquoise

    YES! Let’s give thanks to God when the plane lands safely, when we wake up rested, when we have to stand in line a few extra minutes at the grocery store because there are 2 other people in front of us. Let’s give thanks that so many of us are so privileged to wait in line to buy groceries that are freshly available.
    Thank you for sharing your perspective. I love how ann voskamp’s book and blog has brought such an increase in gratitude.

  • This is thought – proving and beautifully written. We must have the courage of our convictions and not coast along enjoying life forgetting to give thanks, and only turning to him in the depths of our pain and despair. Thank you for the reminder to give thanks – always for all things!

  • Darnly Motter

    Came here from Ann’s. This is such a good post. It is so true. We miss so many opportunities to thank God when things are good…I know I will think about this the next time my plane lands, are I get home without accident in the car, or even when I come back from walking…there are lots of booby traps out there and I’m over 60 now so who knows what could happen. (yes, I know….God knows). Thanks.

  • Indeed, miss Karen.

    Personally, I don’t know if I blame God– just wonder about things.

    And that last quote? Wow. I need that on my wall.

    Thank you for this piece, miss K.