What Makes the World Go Round? Looking for God’s Goodness

What Makes the World Go Round?

Something unusual happened to me during one of our usual Sunday sermons.

I appreciate our well-balanced church. It’s not the kind of congregation where everyone sits on the edge of their seats waiting for a dramatic display of God’s glory. I like it this way because I appreciate a stable environment.

What Makes the World Go Round? Memoir of Looking for God's Goodness in the Midst of Pain wendylmacdonald.com

I’ve been called a ball of fire due to the fact my passion for things near and dear to my heart is easily ignited. So I tend to stay away from anything that fans me into a towering inferno of soapbox savvy.

Calm is cool.

Before I describe my unusual experience, I want to share about the day before. My husband and I discussed where we should go for our weekend nature walk as we sat together in the den. He craved to visit the seashore, and I decided to go along with his idea since I heard reports of a black bear hanging around the place I wanted to go to.

I knew I would think about the bear the whole hike if we chose my idea,

and that wouldn’t be very enjoyable.

What Makes the World Go Round? Memoir of Looking for God's Goodness in the Midst of Pain wendylmacdonald.com

When we arrived at the beach, we noticed the tide was lower than we’d seen it in ages; it gave us a chance to walk barefoot in the sandy shallows. We also enjoyed seeing an eagle couple mirror our presence as they rested on a humongous boulder. I photographed them as I leaned against a large rock. My husband sat on a nearby one and watched sailboats and kayaks glide by.

What Makes the World Go Round? Memoir of Looking for God's Goodness in the Midst of Pain wendylmacdonald.com

The next morning, when I opened my Bible, I chose one of the Psalms for my verse of the day. I knew right away which picture I would feature it on—the one with the eagle couple on the rock. The words in Psalm 119:64 about love made me think of our lovely time at the beach.

The earth is filled with your love, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119:64 NIV

I wrote down the verse and composed a poem as I thought about how cozy our weekend had been. Thankfulness washed over me as refreshingly as the ocean waves had cooled my feet off the day before. And then I pondered:

“What is God teaching me right now?”

A moment later, it hit me. Love.

It’s God’s love that fills the earth.

This planet is filled with it—covered with it.

Often, we’re too busy listening to the nightly news of all the terribleness going on around us, we miss the fullness of His love. Our focus influences our worldview. Our focus as people of faith should be upon whatsoever is filled with God’s love and not focused on worldly hate.

Why would we want anyone to ask the reason for our discouragement when we should be so filled with joy they’ll ask the reason for that instead?

Yes, the end draws closer each day. But according to Psalm 119:64, the earth is filled with God’s love. Each time a person turns the other cheek—each time a person prays for those in need—each time a person blesses in response to hate—God’s love is displayed. Each time a person or ministry builds, gives, helps, prays, and serves the needy, God’s love is on display.

Humans were created in the image of God.

So the goodness any of us displays is the love of God, because God is love.

Any goodness we shine is what we've inherited from God. #memoir #Christian Click To Tweet

What Makes the World Go Round? Memoir of Looking for God's Goodness in the Midst of Pain wendylmacdonald.com

Now, let’s get back to the unusual thing that happened to me at church:

– That Sunday morning, on my way to church, I thought about Psalm 119:64 as I drove past the gate my husband lovingly opened for me. The earth is filled with your love, O Lord.

– I thought about Psalm 119:64 as I drove by a doe lovingly guiding her two spotted fawns away from traffic. The earth is filled with your love, O Lord.

– I thought about Psalm 119:64 as I witnessed a lady leave her dog in deep shade as she lovingly assured him she’d be back soon. The earth is filled with your love, O Lord.

– I thought about Psalm 119:64 as I stepped into my church to be hugged by no less than five faith-filled friends. The earth is filled with your love, O Lord.

– I thought about Psalm 119:64 as a friend grabbed my hand while the pastor prayed over our congregation. The earth is filled with your love, O Lord.

– I thought about Psalm 119:64 as we received communion. The earth is filled with your love, O Lord.

– And when I craved to see the verse again with my eyes—because I couldn’t remember the last phrase—I grabbed a Bible from the pew and flipped it open, fumbling as I tried to put my reading glasses on while still holding a communion glass.  When I looked down, I discovered I’d opened it to the very page Psalm 119:64 was on. The earth is filled with your love, O Lord; teach me your decrees. 

The earth is filled with your love, O Lord. Psalm 119:64 #VerseoftheDay #Love Click To Tweet

What Makes the World Go Round? Memoir of Looking for God's Goodness in the Midst of Pain wendylmacdonald.com

I sucked in my breath as I realized God was teaching me His decrees right there on the pew while we all waited to partake of the grape juice that symbolized the shed blood—the for God so loved the world blood—that fills the earth with His love. God taught me to focus on His love instead of on the hate in the world because money or mammon doesn’t make the world go round—LOVE does.

Let's focus on godly love rather than on worldly hate. #ThursdayThoughts #Faith Click To Tweet

(Dear friends, although I wrote and recorded this as a podcast several months ago, it seems Providential it was next in line for me to post on my blog this week. Have you noticed good stories in the middle of all the mess and madness going on lately? I’m nosy-to-know. Please feel free to share a comment or link that displays the goodness of God in the midst of it all. Perhaps you have a blog post along the same lines as this one has been penned–share the link with us.)

What Makes the World Go Round? Memoir of Looking for God's Goodness in the Midst of Pain wendylmacdonald.com

  An eagle couple rests

Together on the beach

Their love rock solid

As God created it to be.

Blessings of God’s Love ~ Wendy

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What Makes the World Go Round? Looking for God's Goodness wendylmacdonald.com

31 thoughts on “What Makes the World Go Round? Looking for God’s Goodness

  1. Beautiful post Wendy! Love is all around! This world feverishly tries to distract us. I love how you use nature and God’s Word together to keep your mindset on love. Your husband sounds like a wonderful partner for all your explorations.

    1. Thank you, dear Jamie. My husband and I spent at lot of our dating days outside together in nature. I’m thankful we’ve kept this mutual passion alive. Often it’s his idea to get out there–I never regret saying yes. xo

      1. Oh, my, I just remembered you live in Canada!! You have already had Thanksgiving! I’m sorry I forgot. However, I guess every day we should truly count as Thanksgiving, right?
        Blessings, sweet friend!

  2. So good, Wendy. I see God’s love in your posts, in you. You are so right about what we focus on. The news and so much around us tries to blind us to God’s love, the truth. We must be intentional, like you are, to make sure we don’t allow the blinders to steal God’s love and make our hearts cold.

    1. Thank you, Bill. When I catch myself getting caught up in the negative, I always sense His nudge to stop, listen, and notice His promise of goodness to come and His present goodness within each circumstance. It’s easy to barge through life without noticing–but God’s good at reminding His children to slow down and take note–isn’t He? We’re blessed to know Him.

  3. I enjoyed your blog on synchronicity, which is a topic we wrote about in the blog, InScribe Writers Online, this past September. Here’s the link to my blog, Synchronicity: God’s Alignment–inscribewritersonline.blogspot.com/…/synchronicity-gods-alignment-by-sharon.html

    Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way, suggests watching for synchronous events in our lives, which seems to be what’s happening in your blog story. God is reminding us what he can do in our lives. Bob Jones, a fellow InScribe blogger, refers to these situations as “God winks.”

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. My goodness, you are surrounded by such beauty (and love). I am pleased you mentioned the post was written some months ago. I was wondering how your feet could tolerate the water at this time of year!!

  5. Beautiful, Wendy. And I know that feeling of reacting immediately to the heart. I see it in one of my girls, too. Yikes. Oh, we have to harness it. So hard. My girl and I try to calm each other. I see her weaknesses, and she sees mine. I have to tell myself to wait … will my words matter? Shelli, just love.

    1. Thank you, dear Shelli. I’m surprised my tongue doesn’t have scars from all the times I’ve bit it as a mother. But it’s better to bear the scar than to cut them in others. Children learn self-control from our actions. They also learn how to apologize by hearing our apologies when we haven’t bit our tongues. Grace-based parenting is the best. Your daughters are blessed to have a mom like you. xo

  6. Such a great, calming post. We can get so unraveled by the terribleness going on that we fail to recognize the evidence of God’s love and goodness all around us. Thanks for the reminder Wendy.

I love a word in season... please feel free to add an apple to the bowl.