Where Was God in All the Goodness of 2012?

by John Piper | December 27, 2012

As this year ends, the question I am asking is: Where was God when so many good things happened this past year?

How can God be a God of justice, yet allow so much good to happen to people who dishonor him by disbelieving in him, or giving lip service to his existence, or paying no more attention to him than the carpet in their den, or rejecting the kingship of his Son, or scorning his word, or preferring a hundred pleasures before him?

How can God be righteous and do so much good to us who are so unrighteous?

Where was God in 2012?

  • Where was God when nine million planes landed safely in the United States?
  • Where was God when the world revolved around the sun so accurately that it achieved the Winter solstice perfectly at 5:12 AM December 21 and headed back toward Spring?
  • Where was God when the President was not shot at a thousand public appearances?
  • Where was God when American farms produced ten million bushels of corn, and 2.8 million bushels of soybeans — enough food to sell $100 billions worth to other nations?
  • Where was God when no terrorist plot brought down a single American building or plane or industry?
  • Where was God when the sun maintained its heat and its gravitational pull precisely enough that we were not incinerated or frozen?
  • Where was God when three hundred million Americans drank water in homes and restaurants without getting sick?
  • Where was God when no new plague swept away a third of our race?
  • Where was God when Americans drove three trillion accident free miles?
  • Where was God when over three million healthy babies were born in America?

Here are a few of the answers given by God himself in his word.

1. God was reigning from his throne to do his sovereign will.

“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” (Psalm 115:3)
“He works all things according to the counsel of his will.” (Ephesians 1:11)

2. God was reigning from his throne to prevent much sin and harm in the world.

“God said to [Abimelech, the king of Gerar], it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her.” (Genesis 20:6)
“You know what is restraining [the man of lawlessness] now.” (2 Thessalonians 2:6)

3. God was reigning from his throne to give a witness to his goodness and his patience.

“God did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:17)

4. God was reigning from his throne to summon the world to repentance.

“Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

So as the year ends, I bow my head as an undeserving sinner, amazed that I have not been swept away. And even more, that because of Jesus, I am forgiven, adopted into God’s family, and destined for eternal life.

God has been good to us. And his best gift is the one that will be there when all the others fail. Jesus, crucified, risen, reigning.


Article used with permission by Desiring God.


Off Grid School Bus Home

With my wife’s permission this will be our retirement home.

What is that?


It’s not much.  It’ll be gone by lunch.  But, by golly that is snow, folks.

O.K. my four minutes are up.

The Explicit Gospel: Matt Chandler


Tagged , ,

Summer Haiku

It’s July and according to our sun clock it’s well over 100 degrees F.  There’s no use in complaining, right?  Let’s make the most of the steamy temps and do something constructive.  How about composing a haiku with a summer theme?  I’ll start:

One hundred degrees

It’s July in Michigan

I think I’m melting


Who will rescue me?

Air temp dangerously high

Cherry popsicle


Go ahead,  give it a try.

Kids of Today vs 1980’s Technology

Tim Hawkins: Kid’s Rock

Near Death Mailbox Experience

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Things I’ve Seen Recently

The bell on the door of the Goodwill store jingled as I was warmly greeted by a faceless cashier to my left.  As is my established modus operandi, I begin every Goodwill visit with a quick trip to the “new stuff” aisle, two racks full of out dated products, many with their boxes held together by cellophane tape.   I examined each item with careful diligence, hoping to find something that would change my life at a discounted price. It didn’t take long to sense that this visit was not going to be particularly exciting.  I don’t necessarily want a ” Snuggie” and there certainly was no pressing need in my family for an ear dryer.

Feeling just slightly discouraged  I made my way towards the mens clothing section. I patted down every single item displayed.  Every t-shirt, button down, spring jacket , khaki cargo pant, corduroy Chino with  full elastic waistband and Cliff Huxtable sweater on the rack- even the women’s blouses and dress slacks mistakenly placed there by some careless employee. I really wish they wouldn’t do that. I’m not fashion savvy enough to know the difference and on more than one occasion have come very close to purchasing a girls shirt.  Anyway, nothing caught my eye.

I zipped past the wall o’ antiques followed by a fleeting dash through the junk knick knack/small appliance/toy display only to find solace in the fact that there still remained the electronics/books/VCR tapes and LP record album section located deep in the back of the store.

And then…..it happened.

The purpose of my visit to this Milham Rd. Goodwill store located in beautiful downtown Portage, MI became crystallized in an instant.   As 5 precious minutes of my life were being wasted reading the liner notes on an        ” Earth, Wind and Fire”  record album my eyes suddenly were drawn upward and to the right above the self-help books. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. “Really?” I murmured softly.  ” These things still exist?”  I then took a few moments to gaze upon this spectacle in all its panoramic beauty.   There, situated between a reprint of a dull, hazy yellow bouquet of flowers and a wooden framed “picture-less photo display doo-hicky” sat a single portrait of the King of Rock n’ Roll forever emblazoned in living color on a black, velvet canvas.

Yes, my first Velvet Elvis.

<— Go ahead, click on it.





My mind was immediately full of questions.

” Who was the pioneer of this art genre?”

” what kind of person donates artwork of such an iconic figure to Goodwill?”

” Is this the same painting that inspired Rob Bell to want to deconstruct orthodox christianity?”

” How much does it cost?”

None of my questions were  answered that day nor do I suspect they ever will.   I was late for dinner and scurried off without checking the price. So, now I’m left wondering if that wonderful kitschy painting is still resting on the top shelf perhaps re-situated next to a poster of Fonzie or  a nice acrylic rendering of         ” Dogs playing poker ” ? Maybe someone purchased it with grandiose plans for their fireplace mantle?

I guess I’ll never know.

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