“Always Good” – A Guest Blog by Nicole Merchant

She beckoned from the confines of her basement bedroom.

“Colee, will you tuck me in?”

This girl, no longer a young child, not yet an adult.

“First songs. Then prayers. And will you do “X marks the spot”?”

It was reminiscent of younger years.

Years when I lived with her family,
helping mold the image of God in her and her siblings.

I always tucked her in.

She preferred me to her parents;
mainly, I suspect, because she loved to sing.

And, who better to manipulate with requests of singing than me.
Singing and “X-marks” spot helped calm her before bed.

It was a daily routine.
Routine that prepared her for a rest of sweet hopes and dreams.

Last Saturday, she requested the familiarity of her bed-time routine from years past.

I snuggled beside her to sing and rub her back.
“At the Cross”,
“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,
“As The Deer”,
“More precious than Silver”…
and she relaxed in the remembrance of sweet choruses.
until tears dampened her pillow and her body began to heave.

She cried as she spoke.

“Colee, please pray for my injured leg. I want to compete, so badly.
If it doesn’t heal, I can’t compete and all my practice will be wasted.”

The soft, prayer murmurs of a young girl,
whispered in the safety of night’s curtain.

An injured gymnast who longs to compete.

A girl experiencing physical growing pains.

So, I pray.
And, after I pray.
I remind her:
“Jesus sees you.
He hears you.
He knows you.
And, no matter how He answers,
He is always good.”

God growing a girl’s faith through a sport injury.
It seems silly actually.
to think He cares about the broken-heartedness of a child’s simple desire
and yet,
it’s His mercy on display.
His merciful, lovingkindness to teach a girl about life and His love,
through that which she can handle.

As I lay beside her,
knowing the extra weight of my own broken-hearted burdens
and desires,
tears slip down my face as
I hear my voice echo:
“Jesus sees you.
He hears you.
He knows you.
And, no matter how He answers,
He is always good.”

– Thank you, Nicole Merchant, for your beautiful words




We have the great privilege

of coming to God with our requests


We ask Him for what we want

and He chooses to answer the way He wants


And we get into a dangerous place

when we only see Him as good


When He answers the way we think He should


The fact is,

we either trust His sovereignty

His wisdom

and His omniscience


Or we don’t


When we meet God’s “No”

with the stomp of our foot


We in essence are showing a lack of trust

and a sense of entitlement


Santa Jesus would hand us whatever we ask for

and therein we would develop no faith


We would have no need of an all-knowing God,

for whenever we exercised our will of asking


Santa Jesus would give us

whatever we want


This is not what we should expect


May our prayers be ones of great faith

and trust


In our great God

who knows best


– Susie Stewart


He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in Him. After God made that decision of what His children should be like, He followed it up by calling people by name. After He called them by name, He set them on a solid basis with Himself. And then, after getting them established, He stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what He had begun.

– Romans 8:27-30 (MSG)


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…

– Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)


But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”

– Mark 5:36 (NLT)


They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

– Psalm 112:7 NIV)


Photo by Andy Stewart