It’s okay to look around at everything going on in this world and wonder how to see God in it. Specifically, it’s okay to wonder how to see God’s goodness. He didn’t just make us and then leave us in the dark to believe He’s good without ever giving us some way to see it. God’s goodness is incredibly observable, and you don’t have to take my or anyone else’s word for it. So let’s keep this simple. Here are three questions to help you know where and how you can look for God’s goodness. These questions work because they will help you define what you really believe about God.
1. What do I think God made?
Do you think God made all of earth and its people, bugs, lakes, weather, mountains, sun, and moon? How about the Milky Way galaxy and its billions of stars? How about the expanding universe with its trillions of galaxies? Do you think He made your feet? What about science and art? Are they at odds with God, or does He use them to paint the world in His likeness? Did God make slow things like snails and fast things like cheetahs? Were mothers and their hugs His idea? Does He still make things by using the processes He made to change things?
When you decide what you believe about what God made, then you know where you can look to see that He’s good. Not long ago I saw a snail, and it made me think that sometimes I need to “move slowly and leave a trail.” I think maybe God left that trail of His goodness for me to see. Where can you look to see Him today?
2. Why do I think God made it?
Do you think God made the earth as a sort of a pinball machine to shake and jostle and control? Or was this creation just something to do because He got bored of the last thing He made? Or, did He make us as some kind of wildly good expansion of His nature, to know, love, and enjoy? Here’s one way to figure out what you know about this question. Think about the relationships you choose to pursue. What’s your deepest motivation? Is it love? That came from somewhere.
When you realize why God made what you see, then you can’t help but see a lot of His goodness all around you. The next time you see something (or someone) God made, ask yourself why He made it (or them). Meditate on the answers you come up with, and you might just find yourself staring at His goodness.
3. Where do I think God lives?
This question might just solve some big problems for you. If you think God only lives in the past, or in important leaders, or in heaven, or in your parents, or in church, then it might be hard to see His goodness all around you where you are. But, if you believe God lives inside of you, by the Holy Spirit, then you can’t go anywhere where you can’t see His goodness.
In fact, if you believe the Spirit of God thinks you’re a good place to live, then you might just look at your own heart and hear the echo of what He said at the beginning: “It is good.” You are good. When we finally learn how to see God’s goodness as something that He didn’t leave out of the ingredients when He made us, then we start finding it nearly everywhere we look. That’s why it’s okay to wonder how to see God’s goodness. Because wonder is just about the only perspective wide enough to really see just how good He is.
Maybe you’re wondering, where is all of this in the Bible? It’s pretty much everywhere, but Acts 17 sums it up:
“The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’” Acts 17:24-28 MSG
So, if you believe you’re the God-created, maybe you can be His goodness that someone else sees in the world today.