“God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.” How long could you say that phrase and still mean it? It is easy to say God is good when we narrowly avoid a car accident. It is easy to say God is good when a sick relative is healed. When circumstances – even tough ones – turn out according to our desires, it is easy to say, “Praise the Lord!”
But what if you were born with a disorder that caused you severe pain for your entire childhood? What if your family was in a car wreck and you lost a portion of your hand when it was crushed under the vehicle? What if the school you lead for over twenty-five years experienced a devastating fire? What if your grandchild had to undergo major heart surgery? What if another grandchild passed away before being born? Through all of this, could you still say, “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good?”
It might seem impossible to remain faithful to God and trust in His will through circumstances such as those. Yet, by God’s amazing grace, one family has been able to do just that. Why? Because this family believes that in all things God has a plan, and that God’s plan is to use trials to make us grow in Christ and bring glory to God.
As the DeLeon family drove headed down the highway one evening, they had no reason to expect that their trip would be any different than the rest. Yet in an instant, everything changed. The family van swerved and then rolled onto its top, coming to rest on young Autumn DeLeon’s hand, crushing it. Doctors would have to remove a portion of her hand in order to save it. “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
Of course, this tragedy would be hard enough for one person to bear, but Autumn had already endured a lifetime of trials. She had been born with a condition that caused her daily pain for most of her childhood. Think of how awful you feel once every few years when you come down with the flu and now imagine feeling that for days at a time, year in, year out. “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
When the family van rolled over, leaving a mother and 8 children on a roadside under the care of paramedics, one of their first calls went to Dr. Dennis Ice, Headmaster of Heritage Hall Christian School and the children’s grandfather. Within the previous year, Dr. Ice’s one of Dr. Ice’s granddaughters – Isabelle – had been born premature and spent months in hospital NICU while another granddaughter – Zoe - had been born with a major heart defect that lead to life-saving surgery just months into her existence. “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
As Dr. Ice headed down the highway to be at the hospital with his hurting family, he already had a heavy burden on his shoulders. A burden God had been helping him bear for some months. In the crisp, cold morning hours of a November morning, a fire had broken out in the Christian school which he had faithfully led for over two decades. The fire caused major damage to the school facilities. Classrooms had to be arranged, insurance had to be settled, families needed to be encouraged, and when inspectors gave their report the one word was spoken that no one wanted to hear: arson. The fire had been set intentionally. “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
To be certain, it wasn’t always easy to say those words and mean it. Once, when a colleague reminded Dr. Ice that trials are “opportunities,” Dr. Ice replied that he wasn’t sure he needed any more opportunities! Who could blame him! And yet anyone who heard him make that comment could tell you that there wasn’t a single ounce of grumbling, complaining, murmuring, disputing, or bitterness in his words. The twinkle in his eye was saying what the entire family said through days, months, even years of trial. The very words Cassandra DeLeon said as she looked at her family’s crumpled van: “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
This is the true story of the DeLeon and Ice families. Ben Ice, founder and President of Truth Trackers is the son of Dr. Dennis Ice. The families would never take praise and glory for their evident faith in God, but would gladly proclaim that it is only by God’s grace that we can say in every trial: “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
Author: Aaron Whisler is a writer for Truth Trackers and is on staff at Heritage Hall Christian School in Muncie Indiana. He and his wife Brenda are currently going through a heartbreaking trial of their own. Myles Jonathan Whisler, was born on December 15, 2009, very early and with many medical problems. He will have to deal with many surgeries and a long road ahead. Aaron and Brenda trust a great God to see them through the days ahead. They too have testified that, “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
God reached down in love and rescued Cassandra from her sin at the age of 21: changing her life, purpose, and focus forever.