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.