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God is Great, And God is Good

I’ve been singing the following song with Anina a lot lately, and it is sparking a blog series.

God is great, and God is good.

And we thank him for our food.

By his hands we all are fed.

Give us Lord our daily bread. Amen.

Author: Anonymous

When I went online to find history about this song, I was astounded to discover very little. Maybe it isn’t a song people sing much. Maybe it is one that no one thinks of recording. In fact, the first recording I found was this hysterical rendition of a mother singing the song with her raucous toddler twins.

If anyone has a great recording of it, send it my way!

At any rate, it’s a beautiful song that reminds me of God’s sovereignty over our lives. The first line in particular reminds us of a God who is both great and good.

Is God Great in the Big Issues?

“You should carry a gun.” My neighbor spoke the words at my kitchen table, above her cup of Sweet & Spicy tea. It was after nine at night. Anina was in bed, and Marnell was in his office. Our neighbor had stepped down the street to talk for a bit.

The mental image was a little much. Where would the gun go, assuming I knew how to use it? In the stroller basket? In the slot above Anina’s head where I keep my phone?

I laughed.

“No, really.” She looked me in the eye. “You should carry a gun.”

The neighborhood isn’t safe, she said. Drug dealers get kids to deliver their drugs for them. She had heard of shootings over the weekend. And she had heard that I walk all over the neighborhood with Anina.

I processed her idea for a bit. Should I be more concerned about the possibility of Anina or myself getting shot? Have I gotten too careless?

I talked about my neighbor’s gun recommendation with a few other people. (Not because I was considering it.)

I concluded that God is in control and there is no way to protect ourselves or our children from harm and danger. Even moving out into the country doesn’t prevent tragedy. Bad things can happen anywhere.

Is God Great in the Small Things Too?

I suppose maybe I patted myself on the back a little in the “you should carry a gun” discussions. Something along the lines of Other people might spend their time fretting, but I just leave it with God.

You know where this is going.

I guess I leave the safety or danger of our morning walk with God so I can worry about things that God can’t control (sarcasm alert), like schedules. Like what time my daughter wakes up. Or where we will be when it’s time for her next nap. Or what I should say and who I should talk to at busy social events.

I wish I were joking. I wish I could say I haven’t spent years being uptight about things that don’t matter.

Last weekend we had a big day with a lot of moving parts, in addition to the time change I had been dreading for weeks. Besides Anina being off schedule, we had places to be and things to do and pecan pies to take to events. There were just so many things that could go wrong or create discomfort, that I felt like I could barely breathe thinking about it.

Thankfully I had a few moments to meditate that morning and God helped me see the folly of my anxiety. I stumbled upon Psalm 121:8: “The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (NIV)

Really? I thought. God cares about my coming and going? Not just about gun violence, but also about whether Anina runs in front of me when I’m carrying the pecan pie and it goes flying out of my hands and shatters on the church porch?

Well, yes. That includes coming and going, so God must be interested.

If God is Great and In Control, Do I Just Sit and Do Nothing?

As I considered God’s care for our coming and going, I felt the urge to make two lists. They went something like this.

List one: Things I Can’t Control
  • What time Anina gets up
  • Whether Anina is fussy from the time change
  • How long the sermon takes
  • How long Sunday School takes
  • How long lunch takes
  • Whether the pie will feed everyone
  • How long Anina sleeps in the afternoon
  • If someone comes to the door this afternoon and what they want
  • How the evening service will go
  • How Anina handles a late night
List two: Things I Can Control
  • Packing Anina’s bag in plenty of time so we aren’t rushed
  • Speaking pleasantly to people regardless of who says what
  • Getting the food ready in plenty of time

This exercise was shocking to me. Really? Most of what is going to happen today isn’t worth worrying about because there is nothing I can do about it anyway?

Yup.

Ironically, writing down the things I could not control actually made me more enthusiastic about doing the things I could control. When I saw the things that depended on me laid neatly on paper, I felt motivated to plow through them and get them done. They looked totally manageable, if I wasn’t spending energy worrying about all the variables on the other list.

Why bother worrying about the long list when God is great and good? And he will take responsibility for the variables?

All I have to do is focus on the couple of things that depend on me. Whether the issue is big or small, I can be sure the Lord is watching my going and coming.

Come back next week for thoughts on “And We Thank Him For Our Food.”

This is the last day of the Early Black Friday Sale, which ends at midnight tonight, Saturday, November 12, 2022. All books are 25% off except the two new releases.

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8 thoughts on “God is Great, And God is Good”

  1. Our grandchildren personalize that prayer! “God you’re great and God You’re good
    and we than You for our food.
    By Your hands we all are fed . . . “

  2. Since we use that song as a prayer TO God, we change it slightly:
    God, You’re great, and God, You’re good;
    And we thank You for our food.
    By Your hands we all are fed.
    Thank You, God, for daily bread. Amen.

    The only problem is it tends to confuse my children when they sing with others who sing it the more traditional way!

  3. Very good post!!! I’ve been practicing “letting go” of things I can’t control.
    The “God is great” song was our traditional prayer before lunch all my growing up years.

  4. Beautiful thoughts, Katrina! Right now I’m falling down the rabbit hole of worrying about how to know what He would have me do about things that are in my control-what is my part in working with the health issues I’ve been dealing with. And what part is waiting on Him and being quiet. Pregnancy complicates the answers so quickly!

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