Friday, May 10, 2013

finding the good

 
Every good and perfect gift is from above…
James 1:17
 
I’ve been in a bit of a funk this week, somewhat inexplicably. It’s just been one of those weeks where they busyness of life seems to blur the distance between the sunrises and you’re only certain of what day it is because of meetings and soccer practices. It’s one of those weeks that life has moved along at a pace I’m not particularly fond of and I am, being shuffled along with it, desperately trying to keep up.

For whatever reason, I woke up this morning – which happens to be Friday – thinking about Good Friday. Now we know that the events that took place on that day were not in and of themselves good, and yet the greatest good for all mankind was being woven together through every moment of that day.

Could it be, that two thousand years later, the same is true for the seemingly trite moments of our own days? That the truth of His word is being revealed daily for those who are called according to His purpose, that He is truly “working all things together for good” (Romans 8:28).
 
In early modern English, the word “good” actually had the connotation of “holy”. Christ Himself was the only good in that Friday. Apart from Christ, as Paul wrote, “I know good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh.”

There is no good – no holy – in us, apart from Him. Not on Good Friday and not on this Friday, and all of those ordinary days in between.

But in Him, through Him, He gives us eyes to see beyond the busyness of this life, even beyond the depravity of the culture that surrounds us, to His good, His holy. Ann Voskamp refers to this as “finding the Holy Grail of Joy”. Because it’s there. It’s all around us. We just have to look for it. She encourages us to write them down daily and as much as I’m a fan of that – and her book and her blog – can I just tell you, in the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” It became another check-box on my to-do list, this finding joy thing. But I learned, eventually, that it was ok if I didn’t write it down. If only I’d look for it and pause long enough to breathe it in.
 
In the days following the Boston bombings, a famous quote from Mr. Rogers went viral. As a child, his mother had told him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” In the wake of tragedy, these words shifted our focus and encouraged our hearts. We suddenly realized that even in the midst of unfathomable tragedy, there really is more good than there is bad. If only we’re willing to see.
 
That is the perspective that Christ offers us daily. Through Him, we can find the good, not just in the midst of suffering, but in the midst of all this ordinary. His word contains the only words that can permanently shift our focus, and “renew our minds” (Romans 12:2).

There’s another beautifully written book and blog from a mother’s perspective about cherishing the ordinary days of life. But, in all its loveliness, there is one thing missing from the content of those pages, the One who gave her the gift of those ordinary days, the One who filled those moments and her life with good things.

His word tells us that, “He fills our life with good things”. May we have the eyes to find those good things today, on this good Friday. May we look for the good – the holy – today. And praise Him all the more for it.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
Psalm 103:1-5

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