thou art good

by Elizabeth DeBarros

O LOVE BEYOND COMPARE,

Thou art good when thou givest,

when thou takest away,

when the sun shines upon me,

when night gathers over me.

Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,

and in love didst redeem my soul;

Thou dost love me still,

in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.

Thy goodness has been with me another year,

leading me through a twisting wilderness,

in retreat helping me to advance,

when beaten back making sure headway.

Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;

I hoist sail and draw up anchor,

with thee as the blessed Pilot of my future as of my past.

I bless thee that thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.

If thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,

thou wilt be with me in them;

If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,

I shall not drown;

If I am to die,

I shall see thy face the sooner;

If a painful end is to be my lot,

grant me grace that my faith fail not;

If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,

I can make no stipulation;

Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,

as a chosen vessel meet always for thy use.

–Year’s End, The Valley of Vision

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At the end of every year for as long as I can remember, I find a few hours, or maybe I should say the hours find me, to hang up my hat and draw a curtain on the last 11 months, resigning myself to the fact that next month will be a blur and I will never pass this way again.

What’s done is done.

I then get quiet and pensive — until I rest in knowing that what hasn’t been accomplished this year will perhaps be in the following, remembering that it’s not so much about what I’ve begun or finished as it is the good work God began in me and promises to complete.

Feeling suitably small, I give Him thanks.

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Fall Dogwood -Photo by Louise Noakes

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