Folks, it's been a week.
Our church family has been through the wringer these past few days. We've mourned the passing of one of our own; two members have had surgery, one major; others have had procedures or are now awaiting tests in the coming weeks. We've all run the full gamut of emotions this week, going from anxiety to relief to grief to joy to anticipation to back again. Through it all, we've pulled together and taken care of our own, and I couldn't be prouder of you all for it.
And through everything, even the darkest moments of a funeral, God has been a good God. Some people object to that in times like this. "If God were truly good," they'd say, "why did she die? Why did they have surgery? Where's the good in those things?" Well, I'm not saying pain and suffering are good. They're not. They weren't part of the original design, not things God included in His creation and called "good" in Genesis 1. Bad things happen, and not because God gleefully rubbed His hands together and plotted how to make us suffer.
Instead, when hard times comes, we lean on the goodness of God, a God who loves us and who will do everything in His unlimited power to turn things around and bless those who are faithful. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who have been called according to His purpose." Paul also writes this in 2 Corinthians 12:9: "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" When we can do nothing but weep, God remains a good and powerful God, and He shelters us in His arms and blesses us.
Even while we walk through the blackest night, God is planning a new day. Night won't last forever, and joy comes in the morning.