No Conclusions

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “conclude.”

As 2020 comes to an end, I’m not sure what to conclude. In fact, I don’t think I’m ready to conclude anything.

One of the things that struck me early in the pandemic was the certainty some Christians seemed to have about why God was allowing this to happen and how he was working in it. In some ways I felt slightly jealous of the certainty they seemed to have, but I also felt irritated because I didn’t necessarily agree with their conclusions.

Maybe their mistake was taking what God was teaching them personally and trying to apply it universally. I just remember the frustration I felt in April and May when I was repeatedly hearing people draw general conclusions that I didn’t feel applied to me or my situation at all.

Looking back, I understand – everything felt out of control, people wanted some kind of certainty, they wanted to believe that God was still there and still working for good. They wanted to understand what he was doing.

But while I do believe God was (and is) still there and working for good, I wouldn’t presume to suggest how or jump to any conclusion. A lot of this year, for me, has been about learning to live with the mystery and uncertainty.

Over the last week or so, as we come towards the end of the year, I’ve heard several people reflect back on 2020 and speak of what God has been doing in their lives and how he’s been teaching them through all this. That’s amazing, and I celebrate all he has done, but, personally, I’m still in that same place of no conclusions.

I can tell you things God has taught me in 2020 and I can give examples of where I’ve seen him at work, but I’m not yet in a place where I can tie it all in a neat bow and tell you that I understand his purpose in all of this. Maybe one day, looking back, but not for now.

And I’m ok with that. Several times this year, I’ve been drawn back to Jesus’ words to Peter when he washes his feet at the Last Supper:

“You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” (John 13:7 NLT)

For now, no conclusions.

I also want to join the rest of the Five Minute Friday community in paying tribute to Joe Siccardi who passed away this week. Joe was a valued member of the community, always full of wisdom and encouragement, and he will be sadly missed. You can read Joe’s blog here, and if you have a moment, please do pray for his family.

25 thoughts on “No Conclusions

  1. You made me think of Mary…

    Mary was a peasant girl
    and knew how lambs were born,
    but in the angel’s colour-swirl
    she must have felt quite torn
    to understand that she would carry
    a child, but knew no man;
    yes, it was extraordinary,
    but what about her plan
    to be Joseph’s wedded wife
    when she could not hide
    the God-ordained immaculate life
    that would grow and live inside
    and raise the harsh suspicious brows
    of those who would oppose their vows?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Great poem, Andrew! As confusing as 2020 has been it must have been even more confusing for Mary to figure it out for herself as well as having to deal with people jumping to the wrong conclusions!


  2. I don’t think any of us are in the same place with God at the same time. We are all made uniquely and our relationship with him is unique to us too. No one’s relationship with God is the same as anyone else’s. We all feel and reflect on 2020 and others things in our own ways. There is no bow. Hope this makes sense. Merry Christmas x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, me, too! “A lot of this year, for me, has been about learning to live with the mystery and uncertainty.” I’m actually thinking of using “Uncertainty” as my one word for 2021! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have a blessed Christmas, Lesley.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I can certainly tell you things that God has taught me in 2020 and where I’ve seen His hand of blessing (I think I did in my post…) but I don’t expect ‘to tie it all in a neat bow and understand His purpose in all of this.’ And I think that is one of the things I’ve been learning, where trust has to replace understanding, and to hold plans lightly. I was just looking at my 2021 diary yesterday and starting to plan my writing for the beginning of the year, when the post came with a summons for jury service! I think God was whispering something to me there…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree, Lesley. None of us can know all Godโ€™s reasons for all He has allowed this year. But I know He has been at work behind the scenes. I think trusting in the dark, when nothing makes sense, is a valuable lesson.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Love this post, and can so relate. You could have been describing my thoughts.
    Great verse at the end too. Thanks for sharing.
    (Visiting from #35)

    Liked by 1 person

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