Understanding a goodness that can't be contained

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Psalm 34:8 makes me really excited to live this life in pursuit of the Lord. In this verse, the psalmist can't find words to describe what he's experienced in a way that could even begin to help the reader understand. Instead of trying to describe something as indescribable as God's goodness, he invites the reader into the heart of God, saying, "Find out for yourself how good the Lord is."

That is the most beautiful invitation I've ever received. I just want to know the Lord's goodness in my life, a goodness that is beyond anything this world is familiar with. A kind of goodness that is understood without having to use words. A goodness that takes my breath away and makes me stop and stand, marveling at beauty. A goodness that can't be contained and busts out of me through laughter and crazy dancing. A goodness that catches my tears and is solid and sure when my heart is bleeding. A goodness that comes only from the sweetness of experiencing Jesus' love.

What makes this verse even sweeter is that God wants us to find him. He wants to lead us to touch the very depths of his heart and his love for us; he wants to delight our hearts with his goodness that is beyond what we could imagine. He wants to surprise us, showing us his presence in our lives around every corner, in each step we take, in everything our eyes see. When I think about the depth of God's love for me, it's crazy that I sometimes think God isn't showing himself to me.

Father Bill Kottenstette, the wisest person I know, said this the other week: "We are not deeply enough in love with God to realize how much he wants to be with us, to realize all the things he does to reveal himself to us."

It breaks my heart that this is true in my own life, yet gives me such hope and joy to know it doesn't have to stay that way. Our Father reaches out to us in everything he has made, in every situation, to whisper or shout or sing his love to us. Romans 1:20 says it better: "Ever since God created the world, his invisible qualities, both his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen; they are perceived in the things that God has made."

Those raindrops? Kisses from a father who loves you more than you could imagine. Your favorite flower planted alongside the road? Not an accident. It was planted there specifically for your heart. Every person you interact with? Our father revealing a unique aspect of his character to you. Anything that makes you smile: God's love reaching out to you, his goodness made visible.

This summer and for the rest of our lives, let's ask for it. Let's ask the Lord to let us find out for ourselves how good he is. Let's let God show us how tame our fiercest pursuit of him is compared to his pursuit of us.

Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.

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