Daniel 3:18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. I’m crossing my fingers that I’m not the only one who admits to occasionally hearing God’s voice sounding an awful lot like Robin Williams voicing the genie in Aladdin. Sadly, it’s usually when I’m treating Him much like a genie - rubbing that lamp three times a day (okay, two, because I don’t always bless my lunch) and making my requests unto Him. “Lord,” I say reverently, “um, thanks for being You. My day has been really discouraging, and I’d really like for You to go ahead and fix all the people around me.” (because isn’t that always the way? It’s never me. It’s always them.) Or, “God, thank you for this dessert that I’m about to glutton-ize. Please allow it to bless this temple of Your Spirit.” Shame on me for my flippant posture in those moments. From season to season the requests are deeper, beyond the mundane and taken for granted. They are bittersweet and fervent, full of emotion and heart-wrenching, authentic desperation. Whether for our kids’ futures, the trajectory of our careers, the state of our marriages… for our team currently, we’ve rallied around team members walking through infertility and pleading with God for children that aren’t here… we want to be the recipients of God’s goodness. When God answers (and whether He answers the way we desire or expect or not, I can assure you that He always answers), I hope to always repeat the message from Daniel’s life, “If not… He is still good.” If he does NOT answer the way I want Him to, He is still good. If we do NOT receive the news we want, He is still good. There is such profound hope in the unchanging goodness of the Lord. It’s an underlying assurance that even in the face of darkness and disappointment, His goodness reigns supreme. Whatever “nots” are currently gripping your spirit, allow His goodness to penetrate and fortify your heart. He is STILL good, which means He always was and always will be. I pray that my attitude toward the Lord is full of the same fervor in the despair as it is in the mundane and the triumphs and that my reverence for His mighty ways recognize His goodness above all.