I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14)
Last week, a very difficult criminal trial in Dallas ripped the city apart. An innocent, unarmed black man named Botham Jean was killed by an off-duty white police officer named Amber Guyger. The officer said that she thought he was an intruder in her apartment, but that she mistakenly went into his apartment one floor above her. The jury did not believe her and she was convicted of murder.
At the sentencing hearing, the jury heard from the victim’s family. Mr. Jean’s brother Brandt extended forgiveness and urged her to give her life to Christ. Mr. Jean’s mother Allison agreed with her son, and added that she didn’t want their suffering to go unnoticed. She was, in essence, calling out for justice.
It is through this conflict and trauma that we see glimmers of God’s goodness in both Brandt and Allison Jean. God’s goodness is the moral perfection of all divine attributes, with forgiveness and justice being only two of many. Ironically, we see God’s goodness most clearly in situations that do not appear good, such as an innocent man’s death, whether it be Botham Jean or Jesus Christ.
The Psalmist says that we will see the Lord’s goodness in this life, but that we must have patience. This means that in our conflicts, we should wait with listening ears, expectant hearts and willing spirit to reflect God’s goodness to others. This takes practice in small conflicts, so that we can be faithful in even in the most difficult of circumstances, just like Allison and Brandt Jean.
Good and gracious Lord, Through conflicts large and small,When we feel buffeted on every side,And our circumstances look dismal,Help us to remember that you are good.Help us to wait for your deliverance,And help us to be conduits of your love and mercy.In the good name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
—Submitted by Libby Rutherford
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