In one of the readings for the Apprentice Experience, James Bryan Smith quotes St. Augustine and this fascinating concept, “good things peculiar to the good.” Basically, there is a treasure of goodness found in God and with God that Christians experience that those outside of this faith know nothing about. The idea being that nonbelievers and even those practicing evil may experience some good things but will never experience the kind of good that comes from a life with God through Christ.
I have thought about this phrase many times over the weeks since I read it. I have begun to think about the peculiar good that I have experienced since Christ started working in my life in a more powerful way 16 years ago.
- patience in the face of career uncertainty
- creativity and ingenuity in the midst of challenges
- daily encounters with God
- hearing God’s voice
- finding God in the bleakest of circumstances
- compassion for others
- plans and purposes in unusual circumstances
- tolerance of my own shortcomings
- joy in simple blessings
- walking in God’s will
- seeing miracles first hand
- deeper understanding of Scripture
- encouraging others in Christ’s name
I am sure I could go on but you get the idea. Sure, there are times when the items above are not my present reality and I have to relearn what I have already learned, but that is just a part of Growing Up.
If Christ is helping you Grow Up, then you have a similar list or one that is peculiar to you. Take a moment and reflect on the good that is peculiar to the good in your life. Then step back and recognize how rich that goodness is and how it can only come from a “good and beautiful God.”