Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
In a couple weeks, the year 2020 will come to an end. It has certainly been a year unlike any other. The Covid virus disrupted our lives in ways we would not have imagined. And yet, in the midst of whatever disappointments and hardships we faced, even if we found ourselves questioning God and His goodness, each day God showers our lives with goodness in countless ways. I was powerfully reminded of this a few weeks ago in reading a book by Jen Wilkin, called In His Image. She says it far better than I could, so I will just quote two paragraphs:
“We experience God’s goodness in a thousand everyday graces – every one of us, lost or saved, great or small. No, all is not currently good, but much is, if we take time to note it. Have you noticed that creation is not merely functional, but it is beautiful? Our five senses confirm that God has done far more than fashion a utilitarian ecosystem for his creatures. He grants us not only sight, but the perception of color and depth and contrast. He grants us not only the sense of touch, but softness and coarseness, smoothness and roughness, warmth and cold. Our sense of taste knows a thousand flavors, our hearing a thousand tones and melodies and pitches and volumes, our sense of smell a thousand fragrances, aromas, and scents.
“God’s goodness endures toward us in a thousand circumstances. He gives us daily bread, and often more than just that, though we are given to the habit of complaining for what we lack rather than contentment with what we possess. He gives us the joy of family and friends, though we are more prone to rage against him for the hard relationships than to thank him for the sweet ones. He grants us, on the whole, more days of joy than of sorrow, though our darkened hearts are more apt to curse him for the hard times than to bless him for the happy ones. Though he had every right to bar his goodness behind the flaming sword of the cherubim at Eden’s eastern exit, instead he allowed his goodness to follow Adam and Eve all the days of their life, even after their expulsion. And so he does for every son of Adam and daughter of Eve to this day.”
Even in the midst of hardship, pain, and disappointment, God’s goodness and grace are all around us, often in simple yet meaningful ways. So as this year will soon come to a close, may we be ever mindful of the undeserved blessings God has given us, and may gratefulness fill our hearts.
Grace and peace,