It has been an incredible week, so much so that the song displayed in this blog title kept running through my mind. It's one thing to sing about it, another to experience it, and to experience it in abundance. Listen if you like to the song by Jenn Johnson it will certainly lift your spirit.
We started this week with an awesome Xcelerate meeting where we fed both physically and spiritually about 100 people. During that meeting Darryll, who we have been in partnership for the last 3 1/2 years delivered a most exceptional message of hope that reminded me of how his enormously painful experience had produced such a change of life. The goodness of God had brought him through.
Then, about 11 PM the next night a woman in the program texted me that 5 women wanted to be Baptized after another meeting where we put into place another man of God who had returned home after a long period of darkness. Only the goodness of God brought him home and now here was Robert "Smooth" Colbert preaching and pointing others to the light he had once turned off because his life had so much pain.
The next night a man who was in a meeting I led at Step By Step Recovery several years ago showed me my watch that I had given him because his was broken. Through his relapses he had held onto it because he couldn't believe someone would replace his broken watch with one taken off their own hand. He had experienced the goodness of God literally firsthand, and maybe that watch reminded him it was time to stop inflicting pain upon himself.
Then Thursday a man dropped in to ATB that I had referred to Lakeview Hospital who was in work release through the County Jail. We gave him clothes, fed him, prayed with him and spoke for awhile about his next steps. He hugged me before I even had a chance to get out of my chair. He was able to see the goodness of God through his own period of incarceration.
Finally, last night was agonizing for me. Probably from all the lifting and moving donations during the week my left leg cramped up with pain so bad I could not sit down. Wouldn't have been so bad if I was home but it happened in the middle of a meeting at ATB and I still had to get in my truck to drive home which meant I had to sit. No matter what I did for 30 minutes I couldn't sit without intense pain.
I began to pray that God would take me home. After closing up I got in my truck and though there was some initial hurting I found a position to straighten my leg that had no pain. All the way home I was praising the Lord for his goodness, realizing that experiencing pain was sometimes the only way to appreciate his true goodness.
In every example written here there was a period of pain, a season of darkness or a momentary moment of agony. Through it all he has been faithful as the song says because The Goodness of God never takes a moment, a day or a season off.
Through it all, the storms, the pain, the trials, the goodness of God will bring us through, I have no doubt!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.