Friday, April 20, 2012

Dayenu [It is more than we deserve]

In 1988 Geri Fuehring started a conversation with a new teacher at Lace Elementary School while they were standing at a vending machine.  They were in similar stages in life and became friends right away.  

That new teacher was my mom and to this day Geri is one of her best friends.  They taught together, they prayed together, and they journeyed through new marriages and new families together.  

The Fuehring's second oldest is Carly and to say she is my friend would be an understatement.  I consider her a sister.  Many summers were spent going to camp with Carly; and when Camp Awana got old we just created our own camp {oh man, this could be whole blog post by itself...Another time!}. 

Now, just as we planned when we were little, we are at college together.  I did not think it could get any better than Camp Awana, but I was wrong.  Going to college with Carly is gold.  Pure gold.  I could write yet another whole post about all the reasons I love going to college with her, but my goal in this post is to tell you about one reason.  

Over Easter break, Carly's family invited me to join them in their annual Seder dinner on Good Friday.  I was thrilled.  I stayed with my roommate Lauren Thursday night.  We stayed up late watching The Proposal and writing papers.  I'm so thankful for her hospitality toward me since my family is so far away.  On Friday we drove 20 minutes to Carly's house and went with the Fuehrings to church.

After church we went back to Carly's house and her parents led 5 of us Moody girls and about 12 high school girls through the traditional Jewish celebration of a Passover dinner.  The "curriculum" that they used had truth about Jesus' fulfillment of God's promises to the Israelites beautifully interwoven with the Jewish traditions.  

Throughout the Old Testament God commands His people to remember;  remember His covenant with them, remember their slavery, remember His kindness to deliver them, remember His faithfulness.  And remember they did.  I appreciate and desire to emulate the way the Jewish people intentionally remembered and celebrated God's goodness and faithfulness.  

My favorite part of the dinner was when Dave Fuehring, as the father of the dinner, read a line to which we all responded "dayenu."  Dayenu means- "it is more than we deserve."  We repeated this several times, remembering with gratitude and intentionality the faithfulness and goodness of God.  

God, You have shown us amazing kindness and grace.
You rescued us from Egypt...Dayenu!
You punished our enemies...Dayenu!
You parted the sea for us...Dayenu!
You cared for us and fed us for forty years in the desert...Dayenu!
You have us a holy day of rest...Dayenu!
You gave us the Scriptures to live by...Dayenu!
You gave us the Promised Land...Dayenu!
You sent Your Son Jesu...Dayenu!
You sacrificed His life for us...Dayenu!
For all of this alone and together we say...Dayenu!

I want to be someone who remembers the amazing kindness and grace of God towards me.  My heart says:

He gave us life-it is more than we deserve.  
Jesus said He would rescue us before the foundation of the world-it is more than we deserve.
He called us by name-it is more than we deserve.
He says He wants to make our treasuries full (Proverbs 8:21)-it is more than we deserve.
He delights in us-it is more than we deserve.
 He longs for us to delight in Him-it is more than we deserve.

But, thats the kind of God He is.  He gives us more than we deserve.  As Beth Moore would say, He is so much better than He has to be.  I cannot help but think "dayenu!" in response to all the other things He has given me.  He has truly blessed me with more than I deserve.

Ice cream for dinner with friends on a sidewalk in Chicago-it is more than I deserve.

Late night Ice cream (again) with Carly over Easter weekend-it is more than I deserve.

Paper writing/Movie watching with Lauren at her home-it is more than I deserve.

Seder dinner at the Fuehrings-it is more than I deserve.  

Calling Lauren friend-it is more than I deserve.

Calling Carly friend-again, it is more than I deserve.

A life-long "second-mom" in Geri-it is more than I deserve.

The sweet joy of college life with girls who love Jesus and love each other-it is more than I deserve.

Maddie Fuehring.  The privilege of calling her "little sister"-it is more than I deserve.  

A weekend at Lauren and the Fuehring's house-it is more than I deserve.

Knowing Sam Fuehring (another "little sister")-it is more than I deserve.

Brining Sami and her friends downtown all day Saturday-it is more than I deserve.  I love that girl to the moon and back.

This is Mirela! She is living with the Fuehring's and commuting to Moody for graduate school.  The grace of Jesus to cross our paths-it is more than I deserve.  

Ali, the oldest Fuehring sister.  Love knowing her so much-it is more than I deserve.

Going out dancing with Lauren's church-it is more than I deserve.

Mary and I met through Carly.  I can't say enough how thankful I am to now call her my friend as well-it is more than I deserve.

Afternoons playing softball with Carly and Lauren-it is more than I deserve.

Friday night ice cream with Sandra's family visiting from out of town-it is more than I deserve. 

Obviously, I could go on and on.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the people Jesus has placed in my life.  I am thankful for HIs faithfulness and His kindness to me.  Some days I feel more overwhelmed with homework and stressful life circumstances than thankfulness, but even then He is faithful to me.  Even then He will use someone, in this case the Fuehrings inviting me to their Seder dinner, to remind me that He has blessed me-and it is more than I deserve.


  1. What an amazing post, Chesney! And how timely! I have just started Deuteronomy and feel like I have been on such an intimate journey with the Lord and Moses and Aaron! This is so perfect! I love how you shine for our Jesus! :)

  2. Love you Chesy.
    i am blessed by you in my life and your encouragement. You keep my striving after Jesus' feet each day. Your love for Christ and HIS people is what makes your heart beat and it makes me smile when i get to see you doing thinks that make your heart overflow with love, joy, passion, grace, and kindness. It is more than i deserve to have met you and call you a friend.

    p.s. you are doing so great at making you bed lately :))