There’s a mantra making its way around some Christian circles. It goes like this: One person says: “God is good,” and someone answers: “All the time.” While I don’t dispute this outright, I’m afraid it portrays only part of the story.
Try out that chant to the hundreds (thousands?) of mothers who screamed as their young sons were slaughtered by Herod in an attempt to ensure that Jesus was eliminated. As the scripture said, “Rachel weeps for her children, and she will not be comforted.” Not even by an assertion that God is good. Similar examples exist throughout scripture and in our own lives and those of our friends and families as well.
The idea that God is good seems to be based on the assumption that the opposite of “good” is “bad.” Spiritually speaking, the opposite of good is “evil”. So God is good in that God is not evil. Agreed. But does God sometimes seem to be “bad”? Oh yeah.
Perhaps it is not a question of good / bad, but a question of good / better / best. In God’s eyes, there may be a situation where what I think is “bad” is actually best.
To say “God is good” may be to limit God. Especially when “All the time” is added. For a certain situation, He may be “good”… For another situation, He may be something else. For example: God is jealous, God is angry, God is merciful, God is a chastiser, God is forgiving, God is vengeful, God is love, God is brutal, God is wise… Or as C. S. Lewis tells us in The Chronicles Of Narnia, Aslan – the lion that is analogous to God – is a good lion… but he’s not tame.
I think the conclusion is this: “God is best.” And to that, I heartily reply “All the time.”