What’s Your “This”?

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMASDo you believe in God’s goodness?

It’s a question I’ve had to ask myself lately.

In my head, yes. Of course I believe God is good.

But sometimes my heart isn’t as readily agreeable as my head.

I think sometimes, I fall into the trap of gauging God’s goodness based on the circumstances of the moment.

He heals a sick loved one.

He restores a marriage.

He blesses someone with a child.

He gives us the dream we’ve been chasing.

And God. Is. Good!

But what about when the loved one dies or the marriage ends or the child doesn’t come or we never catch the dream?

Do we still declare Him good then?

What happens when that thing we’ve been praying and praying and praying for with the kind of prayers that give us callused knees and hoarse voices and dried-up tear ducts…what happens when God says no to that prayer?

I can hear Him whisper “Will you believe that I am good even if I don’t give you this?”

Whatever this is, this thing we grasp to our chest with knuckles as white as bone.

It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?

Ready for a truth moment–one that might wallop you as much as it’s been walloping me?

Perhaps the level of fear this particular question induces says much about the heart of our worship.

Are we worshiping God?

Or are we worshiping what God might give us?

It’s like that book by Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

All the whos in Whoville are Christmas-crazy.

They love the presents and the food and the decorations and the goodies.

But then the Grinch steal everything.

And what happens?

The Whos join hands and lift their voices and celebrate anyway.

Because they know that Christmas itself is worth celebrating.

It’s inherently good, even without all the trappings.

Christmas itself brings joy. The rest is all extra.

So what about us….do we have that same understanding of God?

Can we open our fist and hold up our this, knowing He’s good if He hands it back and He’s good if He doesn’t?

Frightening, yes.

Freeing, absolutely.

Let’s Talk: What is your this? Has it become more important than God in your life?


19 thoughts on “What’s Your “This”?

  1. I love the truth in this post, Katie–and using the example of the Whos raises it another notch! So powerful.

  2. So very powerful, Katie. My “this,” as I’ve told you before, is another baby. So, so hard at times to trust God’s goodness when he doesn’t grant you the desires of your heart.

    1. Katie Ganshert

      I know this struggle, Lindsey. All too well. We can walk it together and praise God regardless of what He gives us.

  3. Sarah Baker

    Wow! Your post really hits close to home. My “this” is a health problem I’ve been battling. I keep asking God to take it away and I’ve realized lately that that is the only option I’ve given Him. I’ve been demanding, like a little child begging dad for something then throwing a tantrum when I don’t get it, when I should be believing that His will is the best for my life, even if it means He says “wait” or even “no.” In my mind I know this truth, just my heart is slower catching up than I would like. Thank you for the reminder Miss Katie!

    1. Sarah Baker

      I just remembered a quote by C.S. Lewis that I believe fits: “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” Sometimes God’s best seems painful at the time and doesn’t make sense – that’s where faith comes in. We have to trust that there’s a reason why He gave us the answer that He did, and that He’ll walk with us through what lies ahead.

      1. Sarah, this is an amazing quote. Thank you for sharing!

      2. Katie Ganshert

        Love that!

        And I think we’ve all been there at one time or another – throwing a tantrum at Jesus’ feet. He can handle it, thankfully. 🙂

  4. Ganise

    I believe I’ll print this post and keep it – if you don’t mind, Katie. I really needed to read that. In fact, my memory verse for the first half of June is Psalms 119:68, NLT version 2007: God is good and does only good.

    Thank you.

    1. Katie Ganshert

      So glad it encouraged you, Ganise!

  5. Love, love, love. We need to worship the dream-giver…not the dream.

    1. Katie Ganshert

      You got it! And CONGRATS on the Genesis Final! Gotta love when the dream-giver goes above and beyond what He did for us on the cross and gives us good gifts that bring joy!

  6. What a powerful post, Katie. You know I have often wondered, it I knew for sure I would never get published would I still continue to write? My first response would be, what is the point? But then after thinking about it I think God can use my writing any way He wants. Even if it’s only for a few, maybe one of those few need the story more than anyone else. I need to release my writing completely to Him and whatever He wants to do with it. It’s not mine:)

    1. Katie Ganshert

      I used to ask myself that same question! Still do, in fact. Only instead it’s, “If I were to stop getting published, would I?” and yes, I would. Because you’re so right. God has purposes for our writing bigger and different from seeing it on a shelf.

  7. What a power-packed post today, my Friend! Some days I feel like a grinch when it comes loving the hard-to-love. It seems so easy just to walk past and not give a second glance. But then I remember Jesus intentionally traveling through Samaria to meet the woman at the well. He didn’t HAVE to go there, He WANTED to go there. I’m so thankful for the grace He extends to me when I fall so short of who He desires me to be. Thanks for hitting home with your beautiful words, Katie.

    1. Katie Ganshert

      Amen, sister. I’m thankful for the same thing!

  8. Angie

    Ahggh…yes, a question I have thought myself many times as well. My “this” are my children and husband. I always play the “what-if game.” “What if God were to take them from me one day? What would I do? How would I cope?” For me, I had to confront specific idols (like my family) and had to grapple with whether or not my peace rests in Him or them and then lay them at the foot of the cross. I’ve also had to pray “Not my will but yours” many times whenever his fear would flood my mind and then believe in his sovereignty and goodness. I still totally struggle with this but God is so graceful in knowing where I’m weak and helping me through it.

    1. Katie Ganshert

      “I still totally struggle with this but God is so graceful in knowing where I’m weak and helping me through it.”

      LOVE that line, Angie!

  9. Oh my goodness…your post packs a punch today, Katie. Like…hugely. But I love it. I love how it’s making me think. That whisper you describe, I’ve heard it…God saying, Do you still believe me and love me and trust me even if your “this” isn’t a reality right now or ever? Saying yes to that is scary…but real, gut/heart-wrenching worship can be a little scary too in a way…but it’s worth it, isn’t it!

    1. Katie Ganshert

      Definitely worth it, Melissa. Thanks for being so real!


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