Wednesday, December 30, 2009

He has done everything well

"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

6 comments: said...

Very encouraging, Becky.

There are three books on my shelf that are literally falling apart from frequent use. Pilgrim's Progress, The Letters of Samuel Rutherford, and Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship.

Christians have been edified by the writings of theologians who spend most of their time in their library-studies and on the platforms at important conferences; but Deitrich lived out his faith in relationships with people, amid dangers, among both friends and enemies, in prison, and at the end of a hangman's noose.

I am reminded of the homely illustration, using eggs and bacon to show the difference between being involved and being committed. Both the chicken and the pig were involved in the breakfast. Only the pig was committed.

By the grace of God, Deitrich Bonhoeffer followed his Saviour by living the life of a "disciple indeed."

Craig B

Becky said...

Thank you for your comment Craig. You are right about Bonhoeffer, i think his writing is even more inspiring because of the live that he lived. Blessings, becky

Anette Acker said...

I agree with Craig--you can never quote Bonhoeffer too often! Thanks to both of you for your encouraging words.

Anette Acker said...

I'm glad you discovered Becky's blog, Craig. She has unique way of revealing God's presence and power even in the midst of human struggles. I have learned so much from Becky.

Jen Ryder said...

I agree Annette, becky is an amazing lady who has taught me a lot about faith, without trying to!

becks - maybe the new yr will seem less daunting if you don't think of it as having to find something to do for the rest of your life, but just in little steps. Like what are the kind skills you want to develop? and what kinds of jobs would do that? or what are the things that would fulfill you? and how could you do them? cos then it doesn't matter if you don't find a "career" as long as you know you're turning more into the person you want to be each day...that's how I tend to think of it anyway, cos I know I don't want to be an SLT forever but I know that I enjoy talking through stuff with people, getting better at encouraging and supporting people etc.....xxxxxxxx

Becky said...

Thanks Jen. 'tis true that we don't have to plan out our whole lives... the other day i read Proverbs 16.9 "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." and it reminded me that we often try to plan out the whole way ahead, but God doesn't work like that, and just shows us things in "steps" as we need to know them. I guess we don't even know what even tomorrow holds really, so it would be foolish to speak like we