Last Christmas Eve, I made the world’s worst casserole.
Oh, girl, I am not exaggerating. If anyone else thinks theirs is bad, I will put this casserole up against it—and, I guarantee you, it would take home the title of “World’s Worst Casserole.”
The recipe called for milk, but I ran out and used buttermilk instead. Bad idea. Truly, it was the absolutely worst casserole ever!
But, my sweet family tried to be so mannerly and gracious as they swallowed each sour, sticky bite! After all, it was Christmas Eve and they were on their best holiday behavior.
When I called my dad to wish him a merry day, I told him about my Christmas Eve catastrophe, and how I had made the worst casserole. He said, “No, you didn’t. You made a great memory!”
My dad was an expert at extracting the good out of every single thing! He taught me how to create “Goodness Grabbers.” (Though, it probably would have been good if he had also taught me how to follow a recipe!)
Do you know what a Goodness Grabber is?
Goodness Grabbers are word magnets that attract the good in any situation. They’re words or phrases that extract the best out of even the worst circumstances.
There are plenty of things in our lives that are not-so-good, and that’s why we need Goodness Grabbers. They help us to see the goodness that is always with us.
In Psalm 23, David wrote, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” (Psalm 23:6). That word “surely” can also be translated as “only.” In other words, only goodness and mercy will follow you.
Let’s face it. Not everything that happens in our lives feels good. It doesn’t always feel like goodness is hot on our heels when bad things happen.
But, when we have the eternal perspective of faith, we can then see Psalm 23:6 through the lens of Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
God uses the not-so-good for our good. This means that even if something isn’t good, God is able to use it to bring out good and to work for our good. And, for that reason, it is “only goodness” that follows us every day of our lives.
So, if we want to hone in on the goodness, we need to adopt some Goodness Grabbers so we won’t overlook the best in our lives.
Just like my dad turned a gross casserole into a great memory through his choice to see good, we can do the same even in the more consequential moments of our lives.
We can pull out a Goodness Grabber, and it will help align our hearts with Romans 8:28. It will help us see beyond the bad moment to the good that never leaves us.
So, here are some of the Goodness Grabbers I’ve learned to say:
When things just aren’t going well and don’t seem to be getting better, I say … “It could be worse.”
When I’m asked to do something and after I said yes, I feel a big “uh oh, why didn’t I say no,” I say … “I don’t have to do this. I get to.”
When I feel the pinch of giving more time or money or effort, I say … “Generosity is never a bad choice.”
When blindness is wearing me out, and I feel the big urge to quit, I say … “Earth is short, and heaven is long.”
When something I face feels bigger than me, and beyond my ability or experience, I say … “It’s not a challenge; it’s an adventure.”
On the days I feel creaky, tired, and faced with the reality that I am getting older, I say … “This is the youngest I’ll ever be.”
You get the idea!
What we say about a given situation affects how we feel about that situation and, consequently, how that situation affects us.
Goodness Grabbers don’t make bad things go away and aren’t an excuse to live in denial. But, Goodness Grabbers can help strip the destructive power from a difficult situation and infuse you with a hopeful perspective instead. It allows you to see the goodness following you through every situation you face.
Even in our worst circumstances, there is still, always, something good.
So, stop today and feel God’s goodness bump right into you! Create some goodness grabbers you can use to experience the good … only good … always good.
My prayer for you is that you are inspired to find your own Goodness Grabbers. And I’m also praying that my Bible study, Psalm 23: The Shepherd With Me (LifeWay, August 2018), will help you further explore the good things God has for you.
What are some of your Goodness Grabbers? Share with us so we can have plenty to choose from!