Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, nor shadow of turning. James 1:17
God’s character is good and His goodness is always present. When James speaks of ‘variation and shadow of turning’, he is using a phrase in astronomy called parallax, when the earth rotates on its axis every 24 hours. When it does, we experience the shifting of light upon the earth. The sun is obscured by clouds, by seasons, and the nighttime comes to one part of the world while another region enjoys the daylight. One part of the earth will know nighttime and shadows.
But God never shifts and changes. He is everywhere at once and we can depend on His goodness being accessible. So, why does God seem more near at certain times, more distant at others? The older I get, I understand that it has to do entirely with me. My flesh causes the illusion of His distance. My body suffers mortality; illness, depression, fatigue and stress. Each brings a veil of shadows. With the obstruction of His view, I can fall into disbelief. “Where have you gone, Lord? Don’t you hear? Don’t you see? Don’t you care?” If I don’t work through that issue quickly, it will yield bitter fruit. I will end up trusting my sense of things instead of the rock solid foundation of God’s character. I will make judgments about His heart based on how I feel rather than what He says.
Does the goodness of God seem near you today? If the answer is yes, rejoice. If God seems far away, and/or anything other than good, chalk it up quickly to the failure of spiritual eyesight. We are blind sheep, shifted to and fro by the limits of our mortality. My faith is not built on what I sense, but who God says He is.
God stands alone. He stands apart from anyone else around me. What often complicates my view of God is the fickleness of people. One day hot, the next day cold. One day good, the next day hurtful. Their expressions of love shift according to how they feel at a given moment. Oftentimes, their warmth evaporates when I don’t meet their expectations.
I can know that God is same. He is unchanging. His intentions toward me are always for my good ~ for the very reason I was created was to know Him and worship Him. This is the ultimate proof of goodness.
My good and faithful Father, no matter how I feel about You, Your love for me never changes. Before eternity began, You already loved me. Amen