18 October 2006

What a Week!

Ever have one of those kinds of weeks where you look back and are struck by what happened during it? In the last week:

  • a friend was really hurting
  • a friend of a family member was tragically killed
  • a family member contemplated life-altering surgery
  • another family member had a stroke.
  • yet another family member celebrated sobriety
  • I buried someone and blessed the marrying of two others
  • a birthday was celebrated
  • a date night with Ayanna & Aryssa (& Poppa) happened
  • I had breakfast and talked honestly with two friends
  • I had a conflict with someone who didn't act like a friend
  • and, I had a cold

If you've been wondering why the lack of posts, this may give you a little bit of an idea about what I've been up to. Beyond that, sometimes you just have to look back on a period of time that you've just gone through and wonder at the breadth of what life brings your way. Good and bad, life and death, hard and easy, beautiful and ugly, wanted and unwanted--it's all part of life. "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" Solomon wrote (Ecc 3:1). "He has made everything beautiful in its time" (v.11). He, God, has made everything--each of these events including the bad, ugly, unwanted ones--beautiful. How?

One way to understand them as beautiful is to see the way that He redeems them to new meaning and purpose. A death can draw surviving family together. A conflict can develop character and deepen a relationship. Another way to understand them as beautiful (and I think the way that Solomon meant it) is to recognize them as part of God-given life lived to God-ends. Since I view all of life as ultimately flowing from a God is who is Good, I view all that life has to offer as ultimately Good. The mere experience of living these "times and seasons" is a gift of God's graciousness. Beyond what He may do through these moments, the fact that He has allowed me to experience these moments must be recognized as a gift.

There is much in the last week that I would have gladly chosen to avoid and not have happen. But, they did. So, I'm just going to look back and wonder. I'm going to count each as a good gift, no matter how much they confound my understanding. I will simply "enjoy my lot" (v.22) and be moved to "revere Him" (v.14) since there is "nothing better" (v.22).


Denise said...

Reminds me of C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." When we have challenging days/weeks/months/years we are drawn to God, we listen to Him, we cling to Him in ways that we don't do when life appears to be flowing smooth and easy.

Last weekend I reconnected with a friend from long ago college days. As we talked, especially about the heartaches and difficulties of life, I was struck again by the truth that ran through the stories of our lives in the last decades: "Life is hard, but God is good."

Only God knows how all these events work together to fulfill His plans for His creation. As for me, I'll strive to follow Paul's prescription in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 18 to: "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Organized Chaos said...

So I guess this is why you haven't called me! :)