Friday, October 12, 2007

Meditation...

...for my friends who are walking through 30 Days of Nothing...
What if, precisely at the moment when we are thanking God for God's goodness toward us, there is a ring at the door, as so often happens these days, and we find someone standing there who also would like to thank God for some small gift, but to whom such a gift has been denied and who is starving with starving children and who will go to bed in bitterness?

What becomes of our grace in such moments? Will we really feel like saying that God is merciful to us and angry with them, or that the fact that we still have something to eat proves that we have won a special position of favor in God's sight, that God feeds the favorite children and lets the unworthy go hungry?

May the merciful God protect us from the temptation of such gratitude. May God lead us to a true understanding of God's goodness... If we want to understand God's goodness in God's gifts, then we must think of them as a responsibility we bear for our brothers and sisters. Let none say: God has blessed us with money and possessions, and then live as if they and their God were alone in the world. For the time will come when they realize that they have been worshipping the idols of their good fortune and selfishness.

Possessions are not God's blessing and goodness, but the opportunities of service which God entrusts to us.
-from A Testament to Freedom by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

May we remember. All of us. Be blessed and a blessing this weekend, dear ones!

14 fellow travelers shared:

:..Rebekah..: said...

"Let none say: God has blessed us with money and possessions, and then live as if they and their God were along in the world." What a convicting statement! Thank you for posting this.

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

Praying here often that He would show us how, who, when and where to share whatever He affords us--and that we would be patient for His leading, and not impulsive and irresponsible.

What a blessing this post is, Elise.

Jane said...

Such a wonderful - thought provoking line of thinking. I know that I always said I was so thankful for the gift of our family being all together - and then we awoke one morning with the reality that one of our little one's was no longer with us. I realized then that God's blessings are so much more than things seen on this earth - they are eternal - and spiritual so many times. The blessing of His presence, His love and His care when our hearts are hurting and breaking. That IS a blessing. Like you have said so many times before - He does All things --- well!

Thanks for your post! You aways inspire me!

Jane

Beka said...

Powerful, gripping thoughts. Thank you.

Possessions are... the opportunities of service which God entrusts to us.

May we always remember this.

The Small Scribbler said...

Will we really feel like saying that God is merciful to us and angry with them, or that the fact that we still have something to eat proves that we have won a special position of favor in God's sight, that God feeds the favorite children and lets the unworthy go hungry?

Precisely the attitude of the religious leaders in the book of John. And the conclusion that Bonhoffer comes to is the same that the disciples eventually learn though it does not come naturally. How interesting that you posted this as I have wrestled through these thoughts during my time in John. Quite timely, I think.

Thank you for stopping by yesterday. My husband posted your comment and as he was doing so I told him, "Honey, do you know how exciting this is?! Elise's blog has the most beautiful writing that I have come across among the many blogs I read." Just thought you might like to know.

Kate

gail said...

very timely, i love the thot that bonhoeffer shares that possessions are opportunities of service ... puts a whole new perspective on what we have in life.

Mrs. "M" said...

Great truth to meditate on....very helpful to me in light if some things we are facing.

Thanks

nanashouse said...

I can't say enough about this! God has chosen to lay me very low these past two days with a heart problem . I have had many a chance to pray for all of you. The temptation for we mortals is to "do better," live better' , serve more. The answer is Jesus and his Complete Sacrifice on the Cross. There isn't more we can do to complete the perfect sacrifice. What we can do is hold each other up in prayer. Let us go boldly (infirmed bodies and all) to the throne of grace and pray for those who need his touch of holiness!

Anonymous said...

I'm one of your occasional lurkers!! I do so enjoy your blog--my computer is older so it takes a few minutes to load your site. I love reading Christian ladies sites but yours is one of thebest--so much spiritual depth. I do enjoy it---may God bless you and your family.
Rhonda in TN

Stacey said...

Mmmmm, thank you, sister. Thank you.

EEEEMommy said...

Excellent! Truly excellent! I love Bonhoeffer. I'll be chewing on this one for a while. I might even have to commit it to memory.

~Java Mama~ said...

Opportunities of service... oh what a profound truth that I have truly been missing.

Susan said...

Ahhh, Good ole Dietrich Bonhoffer. Living in Germany and trying to gather testimonies of the war to put on website. No will give me permission, the stories are too personal. Ironically, Bonhoffer is unknown to the Germans. I really enjoy looking at your sight today.

bluemountainmama said...

very true indeed..... thanks for sharing this quote from him....

i have a hard time with the philosophy of 'not enough faith' when trials come to others or ourselves....

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