Last night I was folding clothes in the laundry room. I started singing “All my life you have been faithful. All my life you have been so, so good.” (Bethel Worship, Goodness of God)
From upstairs in her room, I heard Lydia sing, “With every breath that I am able, I will sing of the goodness of God.” And then Cora from her room sang the next line, “‘Cause your goodness is running after, it’s running after me.”
Then all together, at the top of our lungs and in perfect Winslow harmony (ha!) we sang the remainder of the chorus, “Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything. ‘Cause Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me.”
It hit me. And I began to weep tears of gratitude. The words of this song are implanted into the hearts of my daughters. Who at nine and eleven are learning to live a surrendered life, to live giving their everything to God. That their sacrifice of giving God their all is worth it because of His goodness and mercy toward us.
Proverbs 23: 26 says, “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways.”
Tears began flowing down my cheeks and a smile stretched across as I realized that there is nothing more that I want than for us to be surrendered and give God our all as a family.
We ended up singing this song for about ten minutes. Over and over our voices in familial harmonies proclaimed the truth of this song. And as we sang I prayed from the laundry room that these lyrics would not just be words, but would be the worship of all our hearts, but the worship of the hearts of my young daughter.
As I smiled and soaked in the sweetness of these moments. I felt such a peace as I contemplated how certain I was that this was as a fragrant aroma to our heavenly Father.
Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
I share this story with you because this desire to be surrendered, to understand the goodness of God, does not come from a path of ease and least resistance. This hunger comes from a place of walking through valleys together as a family.
My kids have seen my brokenness. They have seen my best days and my worst days, as I have theirs. They have experienced grace and are quick to show grace. They are hungry for more of God. They have been a part of the healing of my heart.
My hurts have been their hurts. They have prayed the same prayers I have prayed. They have agreed with me in healing for my mom’s cancer. They prayed for Zach when he was in the hospital. They have seen the ramifications of addiction and prayed for broken strongholds. They prayed for comfort for me, my mom and dad after Zach passed.
My kids have been there through it all. And they have seen the hand of God, and how he has been faithful and good to bring us comfort and peace. Cora and Lydia have been the hands and feet of God me to. They have had their prayers answered, and their faith has been strengthened.
It was the same as in days of old, believers singing songs about the goodness of God.
Ezra 3:11 says, “And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord: “For He is good, for His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”
“They sang responsively.” This verse from Ezra is an account of the people of Israel who were witnessing the rebuilding of the temple after the first temple had been destroyed. The Israelites sang songs of gratitude because they were bearing witness to the power and promise of God made manifest in their before their eyes.
I imagine that these songs of gratitude were not just from the mouths of the elderly, or moms and dads. I believe these were songs sung by a nation of faithful followers young and old, who were in awe of God’s protection, provision and promise for them. They were amazed by his goodness to them, as we are today.
I encourage you, whatever you are walking through, if there are kids around you, invite them in. Invite them to participate in prayers. Invite them to share in the hurt to build in them compassion, empathy and faith. Invite their faith, and yours will be encouraged and strengthened.
Last night I had the amazing privilege to see the goodness of God on display in my home over laundry and homework as we lifted our voices in agreement that we want to live surrendered to Him. I never want to miss out on what God has for me or for my family.
This chorus of praise reminded me that, as a mom, I have a very important job. I am more aware than ever, that as the mom of the house, I set the tone. It is my attitude that determines whether we will have an environment of worship, peace and joy or an environment of tension, tearing down and anger. There is rarely middle ground.
When I raise my voice in worship, my family is quick to follow. When I raise my voice in gratitude and thanksgiving, showing grace and extending forgiveness and repentance, my family follows suit.
When I have an off day, and I am grumpy, frustrated, believing everything is going wrong, and have a heart of bitterness, it spills over to contaminate the environment of our home.
I can diffuse or ignite tempers. I can bring peace or bring contention. I can demonstrate love or division. I can share hope and faith, or fear and doubt.
This is not to put a burden on the shoulders of mothers, but to recognize the reality of the yoke of being a mother. And to confirm the importance of a daily, intentional walk with our Father, who molds, equips, fills, restores, trains, refines and provides just what is needed.
It is through Him alone that we can bear this yoke, as his word tells us, “his yoke is easy and His burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)
At the end of my life I want nothing more than for my children to tell their children that I lived my life with an unquenchable hunger for God, a life surrendered to his word. May my life, may the lives of my family ring true to the words of the song, that God’s goodness always be on our lips.
It’s true, all my life, God has been faithful. I pray that we, as brothers and sisters of the living Christ, would recognize the faithfulness of God that is constantly before us. May proclaiming His goodness always be on our lips. May we sing, may share the hope that we have found living aligned and surrendered to God.
Exodus 34:6 says, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.”
Our God abounds, overflows, radiates and permeates goodness. It is who He is. When we are His, when we are with Him and in His presence, His goodness is all around.
I encourage you today to allow this song to fill your home, and let the goodness of God flow.