"He has done everything well" - Mark 7.37
"The days that were heavy for us, that tormented us and made us anxious, days that left us with a trace of bitterness, are the very days that we do not want to leave behind us today, before we also confess about them, thankfully and humbly: 'He has done everything well.'..... We are not supposed to solve the unsolved puzzle of the past and fall into torturous brooding, but to let even the incomprehensible stand and return it peacefully to God's hand.... But the most terrible thorn still remains... The evil fruit of my sin keeps working without end. How can i bring it to an end? And yet you are no Christian - rather, you have become hardened in your sin - if you cannot also say about your guilt: 'He has done everything well!' One thing it does not say is 'We have done everything well.' - Deitrich Bonhoeffer
I know i frequently quote Bonhoeffer, but i like his writings, and this passage particularly spoke to me today. This year has been a strange year for me - a peculiar mix of pretty unpleasant and completely amazing. But one thing is for sure, there is no way that i can say that I have done everything well - far from it - i am truly ashamed of my attitude and behaviour. But i want to take the opportunity to acknowledge that i believe it is still true that HE has done EVERYTHING well - even those things that appear to make no sense to me. So i will be thankful, for the amazing things He has done this year, but also for the parts of this year that, if i'm honest, i would have preferred not to happen. I will be thankful because i trust that He sees the end from the beginning, and understands all things, and works all things for good, because He is faithful and true and richly beautiful.
I don't know why, but for some reason i don't really feel like making that big a deal about the start of this new year - maybe because i know in reality the start of a new year makes little difference to our lives - it's almost like we set ourselves up for disappointment, by coming up with new aims and new plans etc - or maybe it's just because i'm acutely aware that i have to work out what to do with my life in the new year, and that kinda scares me, though i know it should be an exciting prospect too - either way, i do want to be thankful for this new year in as much as i am thankful for each new day we are given... there is no reason why we should wake up each day, why we should be given another day to live... and so i am thankful for that... for each year, each day, each hour, each minute, each second... because i have no power to keep my heart beating, or my lungs breathing, or my mind working, or my soul existing... that life comes from God alone.
"Here dies another day, during which i have had eyes, ears, hands and the great world round me. And with tomorrow begins another. Why am i allowed two?" - Chesterton