Jeremiah chapter 17 describes two kinds of people.
In verses 7-8, we have a beautiful picture of a person who has encountered the goodness of God. They have experienced His unconditional love for themselves and they have responded to it with trust and faith in His character. The result is fruitfulness, strength and vitality. Their lives are established and abundant.
Then, in verses 5-6 we see a person who struggles to trust. They just can’t lay down a lifetime’s habit of self-reliance. So, they put all their hope in their own decision-making and hard work, rather than in God’s care for them.
And verse 6 says that the person who cannot trust, cannot see when good comes.’ (KJV)
It is hard to imagine how that happens. How is it possible to not recognize something that is good? What causes this kind of spiritual blindness that distorts our perspective?
In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story about a wayward son. He has a loving and generous father but he doesn’t see it that way. He only sees restrictions and rules, unwanted responsibility and expectations.
He wants to live life his own way now and he doesn’t want to wait around for dad to kick the bucket. So, he asks for all his inheritance. His father reluctantly agrees, and the son leaves home with pockets full of his trust fund.
But fast living is expensive and soon he finds himself sitting in a pig pen, the money squandered. At that moment, the penny drops and the son realizes what he has left behind.
And, all at once he is able to see what is good for him and what is not.
And he heads home.
You see, in order to see good, we have to see God as He is. We have to know Him as our father and be assured that we are safe in his care. Then we can be confident that His plan for us is good and we can stop trying to work everything out for ourselves. Knowing God’s character helps us to trust His will as well as His timing. We will have the courage to hold out for God’s best, whatever the cost.
If we don’t know Him well, this will be a tall order. If we aren’t sure God is trustworthy, we can fall back into old patterns of independence and miss out on His supernatural answers, provisions and blessings.
Because the truth is that some things that are really good, don’t immediately look good at all. And some things that do look good are not God’s best in the long run. Situations that you are tempted to escape from can be a provision in disguise. And sometimes what you think is God’s provisions is actually a counterfeit.
So being able to see good is imperative if we are going to live life well.
The key is trust. It opens our eyes to what is good and what is from God.
We are not spiritual orphans. We have a good Father who created us and loves us. He is working all things for good in our lives. We can, without exception, trust His leading and direction, even when it doesn’t make sense.
There is a place of abundant life and spiritual growth and it is called Trust. It is the place we run to when the penny drops and we remember how good God really is. It is the place we return to after stubborn wanderings and pig pen epiphanies.
It is where we find our Father waiting for us.
It is home and it is good.