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God Is Good: A Dog Tale

Description

Tragedy can cause doubts, especially around the promise of God's goodness.

I recently moved to a new town. That meant leaving my friends and church behind and practically starting over in the relationship department.

It's been hard and lonely at times. One source of comfort has been my faithful Goldendoodle, Emma. She's the best dog a girl could want. Loyal, friendly, and sweet-natured. Emma was right by my side one afternoon as I was working outside when suddenly she took off like a bullet. As I watched her run, I heard the engine of a truck racing in her direction. I turned away at the last second, but I knew what had happened. My beloved dog had been hit by a car. She didn't make it.

I know she's just a dog. I felt silly being so sad about her death, but in the wake of all of the change I was experiencing, losing Emma felt like a really deep cut to my heart. I cried and cried and cried. I couldn't help but wonder, "God, how could you let this happen?"

Tragedy has a way of squeezing us so that what we really believe about God comes bubbling out to the surface. When things don't go like we want them to, we have to stare down an important question, "Do I really believe that God is good?"

The answer to that question is clear in the Bible.

I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing" (Ps. 16:2).

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him (Ps. 34:8).

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations (Ps. 100:5).

Verse after verse after verse clearly states that God is a good God. The Bible also promises that He delights to give us good gifts (Matt. 7:11) and that He will work everything for our good (Rom. 8:28).

So... what is up with the fact that I had to bury my dog less than one week after I waved good-bye to so many people I loved?

Yep, I asked those questions for a millisecond. Most of us do when we face something unpleasant. We always want to know the why behind our circumstances and when an answer doesn't come, we can be tempted to doubt that God is really good.

I didn't stay in that place of doubt very long because I know that God is good. I know it because it's in His Word, and His Word is truth. I know it because God has been good to me over and over before.

So I started praying for a new dog. God tells us in His Word not to be anxious about anything but to pray instead (Phil. 4:6). So I prayed. I told God I was sad, and I asked Him to provide a new dog.

Fast forward about a week. A family member who works for a vet called us. She knew of a family who had to move to the city and needed to find a good home for their dog. She didn't know much about him, but wondered if we'd be interested.

We went to see him the next day.

He was the same breed as our dog. 

The same color. 

He was even from the same breeder. 

His name is Marley.

It was love at first slobber.

What's crazy is that we lived 200 miles away from Marley's original family. For us to end up with a dog from the same breeder and possibly the same family as our Emma is a crazy-weird coincidence. Actually, I know better. Marley is a good gift from a good God. He always, always, always plans to do me good not harm, even when it doesn't feel like that's true.

Trusting that God is good isn't the same as seeing Him as a genie in a bottle. It won't always mean that just what we prayed for drops right into our laps. But God is good. It's a promise we can cling to when troubles come.

Are you facing something hard today? Have you had to let go of something you love? Are you enduring something painful? Remember that God is good.

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