1 John 1:5

God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.


Have you ever considered the implications of this part of scripture? Many of us have heard it most of our lives, along with similar verses which speak of God's goodness. But what does it really mean for us?


The understanding of who he is contrasts with so many other things I learned about him when I was younger. Part of my misunderstanding was because my parents didn't represent him accurately, and part was erroneous teachings in church, where scripture wasn't accurately explained. But all along, he has patiently waited for me to discover the truth about what his goodness means.


I can tell you that, for me, it means that nothing negative that has ever happened to me was a reflection of how he feels about me. That's been huge for me because so much taught me that I was unloved and that the world was a scary place. That I should often be ashamed of myself. That when I act well, I might get good, but as soon as I mess up, I need to be afraid. Because so much is dark and painful and there's no guarantee that life is worth it.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gephardt

And yet because there is no darkness in him, he is unable to be anything but good, so he could not have been in agreement with those who harmed me. God isn't joyful and positive one moment, then angry and punishing the next, unlike many humans who are unpredictable and unsafe. I do not have to be afraid that I'm suddenly in trouble with God, even when I make mistakes. There may be consequences to bad choices, but negative consequences are never the end of the story.  God is always my friend, and always a safe harbor, even when I'm hurting or my heart is hard and needs to be softened.  No brokenness in or around me can stop him from being good to me. 


This means that, even in painful circumstances, there is always a promise for good in life because he is in it. Good is what he is, and good is what he does. Always. 

by Pam Charro

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