Can I Trust God is Good... When I Don't Get What I Long For?

A few years ago I was scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed and smiling as I saw various friends posting with great excitement about getting engaged, or getting a job that had been much sought after, or finding out they were pregnant after praying to be for so long. But one thing bothered me: I noticed many times, before or after the announcement of the exciting news, it would be accompanied with the exclamation: "God is so faithful! He is so good!"

I stopped and thought about this common theme. When someone got what they wanted and prayed for, God was "good!" He was "faithful!"  Then I thought about myself: how many times that cry had also been on my tongue or in my thoughts when I hoped and prayed for something and received it. 

But wait! As I followed that rationale, what about when I didn't receive what I really wanted or prayed for? Was God any less good or any less faithful because I didn't receive what I asked for? Was the Father's goodness and faithfulness dependent on what I received? On life going the way I desired?

For the last several years, as devastating events have happened in my life, along with heartbreaks of various kinds, I have wrestled and prayed with that thought: Did I, do I truly believe that the Father is good and faithful simply because He is? Because that is His very nature?  That He can be trusted even when life doesn't go the way I want or hope or pray for? Is He still good and faithful?

While walking the Camino in Spain, I met a lovely gal from Poland. We started talking (as much as our language barrier would allow, for she spoke very limited English and I spoke no Polish), and ended up getting into quite a long conversation sharing our stories. She shared some deep desires for her life but with a realistic attitude that they may never come to be what she has hoped. 

"But!" She exclaimed with a deep conviction, lovely accent and hopeful smile. "I trust my God! He is always good and He is faithful! And even if it's different from what I wanted or hoped or prayed for, He knows best for me and my life!"

There was no bitterness, no doubt about His faithfulness or goodness based on what she received or didn't receive. Her God was "good and faithful" no matter what!  That kind of trust and hope in the Father spoke to my soul. 

Do I have that kind of faith and trust in my Heavenly Father? Do I believe that He sees all and arranges everything truly for my good even when it's different from how I would prefer? 

That is what I have started to strive and pray for daily. I still wrestle with it some days, but step by step I am learning to trust and believe that it is my faithfulness that needs working on! Not my God's. Our Heavenly Father is good and faithful not just when we get what we want, but always

Like my Polish friend I hope and pray that no matter what comes in life I can say with as much joy and conviction as she did that:

"I trust my God! He is always good and always faithful!"

-Maria Spears