GOODNESS & HAPPINESS
Psalm 23:1,6 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Fourteenth-century theologian John Tauler prayed for eight years that God would send him a person who would teach him the true way of perfection. One day, on the church steps Tauler found a barefoot ragamuffin in rags, wounded and caked in blood.
Tauler greeted the man cordially: “Good morning, dear brother. May God give you a good day and grant you a happy life.”
“Sir”, replied the ragamuffin, “I do not remember ever having had a bad day.” Stunned, Tauler asked him how that was possible, since sadness and grief are part of the human condition.
The beggar explained, “You wished me a good day, and I replied that I cannot recall ever having spent a bad day. You see, whether my stomach is full or I am famished with hunger, I praise God equally; when I am rebuffed and despised, I still thank God. My trust in God’s providence and his plan for my life is absolute, so there is no such thing as a bad day.”
He continued, “Sir, you also wished me a happy life. I must insist that I am always happy for it would be untruthful to state otherwise. My experience of God has taught me that whatever He does must of necessity be good. Thus, everything that I receive from his loving hand or whatever He permits me to receive from the hands of others – be it prosperity or adversity, sweet or bitter – I accept with joy and see it as a sign of his favor. I have learned that the will of God is the love of God. And by the outpouring of His grace, I have so merged my will with His that whatever He wills, I will too. Therefore, I have always been happy.”