Have you ever doubted the goodness of God? I suppose that if you’re like most of the human race the thought has crossed your mind once or twice. I admit that I’ve struggled with such misgivings as much as anyone. This important attribute of God is the one trait that Satan wants to discredit the most, and he gleefully plants seeds of doubt about God’s purposes and character whenever he can. I would like to share about a time when God used a little dog to teach me a lesson about His goodness.
I had been distressed about the pain and suffering I was witnessing around me, which I couldn’t reconcile with the idea of a good and loving Creator. I knew what the Bible verses said, but for some reason they weren’t providing the clarity and comfort they usually did.
During this time I went to visit a friend, Beata, for the weekend. She had a little dog that had been rescued from a horrible situation. The way he followed her around everywhere was an indication of his gratitude and devotion.
The little fellow had taken ill and had been close to death. For the two weeks prior to my arrival Beata had taken him to the vet every day for painful shots. Little by little the dog recovered. If my memory serves me correctly (which may or may not be the case), I arrived on the day of the last injection.
As Beata was telling me all the details of his illness and treatment I was watching the little dog, who has nestled up next to her. His eyes held my attention. They were radiating with love and trust. Despite all that he had been through I could tell that he still had an unshakable faith in his mistress. And then I heard it. It was a voice in my mind, but it reverberated so forcefully that it might as well have been out loud. It asked a simple question which frankly startled me. “Is Beata good?”
I quickly thought to myself, “of course!” I was almost offended at the suggestion of any else. The voice asked me a second question. “Am I good?” And then I understood. It came to me in a flash. The painful medical care that Beata had to inflict on her beloved pet in no way took away from her goodness. In fact it was the opposite. But how could she ever explain the purpose to him? She couldn’t! There was no way to make him understand why he had to go through what he did. And yet, what struck me the most was that this little dog still loved and trusted her without a hint of doubt.
I don’t mean to imply that pain comes from God. The Bible is clear that evil never originates with the Lord. Bad things don’t need to happen so that good will result. God is always against wickedness. But He was trying to teach me three important truths, and they have stuck with me ever since.
First, there are things that we’ll never understand, just like that dog will never comprehend why he had to go though such painful treatment. Secondly, our pain doesn’t mean God isn’t good. My friend Beata never stopped being good to her dog, even when he was suffering. God is always good, even when men chose to do evil and others suffer as a result. And thirdly, God desires our trust and love. He wants us to be like that little dog. That is something I have tried to be ever since.