God is Good
Two men became good friends. They were alike in many ways and agreed on most things. But, there was one big difference.
One of the men was very religious. He always could be heard saying, "God is good all of the time." Then he would repeat the phrase in a different way, "All of the time, God is good."
"How can you say that God is good all of the time?" his friend asked.
The religious man answered, "All of the time, God is good." I would like for you to take a trip with me. Then you will see how good God can be. The two men set out on their journey. They took a donkey to carry their packs, a torch to light their way at night and a rooster, who was a friend of the donkey. The rooster sat on the back of the donkey as they traveled.
The first day of the trip the two walked until late in the day. They tried to stop in a village. But, they were turned away at every door at which they stopped. No one offered them food to eat or a bed on which to sleep. "Well," said the non-believer. "I thought you said God is good. I am tired and hungry. Is this good?"
"God is good all of the time. All of the time, God is good. There is a reason why the people turned us away. Now let us go into the woods and find a place to sleep." The two walked into the woods. They tied the donkey to a bush a short distance from where they planned to sleep. Then they piled up pine needles and moss that grew beside the trees to make beds to sleep on. The air was clean. The pine needles smelled sweet. "God must have decided that this was the best place for us to sleep."
Just as he said those words, "Growl!" The loud sound of a lion could be heard. This was followed by "Hee Hah!" Then there was silence. A lion had killed the donkey.
"Do you still say Good is good?" asked the non-believer? He was angry!
"God is good all of the time. All of the time, God is good. If the donkey was not there, the lion might have eaten us. Thank you, God, for being so good."
A few minutes later the two heard a scream and a cock-a-doodle-do. The men looked up and saw a wildcat carrying the rooster away to eat it. "Do you still say Good is good?" asked the non-believer? He was more angry than before!
"God is good all of the time. All of the time, God is good. If the donkey was not there, the wildcat might have eaten us. Thank you, God, for being so good."
The non-believer tried to light the torch. But the wind kept blowing it out. "How can you say God is good?" he asked. He will not even let me light my torch to see in the dark!"
"There is a reason for everything God does. "God is good all of the time. All of the time, God is good." We might not ever learn the reason. Then again we might." His friend did not answer. He just went to sleep.
The next morning the two men walked back to the village. Everyone was upset and quite angry. A group of outlaws had entered the town the night before. Every house had been robbed.
The religious man turned to his friend. "Do you hear? Now we know why we were turned away. If we had stayed here, we also would have been robbed. If your torch had been lit, the robbers would have seen us and robbed us also. God is good all of the time!"
His friend ++answered, "All of the time, God is good!"
A wonderful version of this story can be read in Stories for Telling: A Treasury for Christian Storytellers by William R. White, Augspurger Publishing House, 1986.
To hear Dr. Lockett tell this story, click on http://www.mikelockett.com/share/God_is_Good.zip