Like many of you, we took down our Christmas decorations today. Carefully, we packed and then carried boxes up to the attic. It’s a ritual that marks the end of the Christmas season, the beginning of a fresh New Year.
I wasn’t quite ready to see 2012 go.
It’s not that I resist change, well ….. not exactly. We were just so very blessed this year. In many ways God was very, very good. More so than anyone deserves. I don’t take His goodness for granted. If anything the experiences of 2012 deepened my gratitude. Over and over God showed up. He provided opportunity to serve, give, rest, learn, trust, grow. Certainly God provided financially …. enough to pay bills, tithe and send us both on mission to Haiti. He also showed me it is possible to forgive, to heal and to love without having mutual reconciliation. He challenged us to go to the next level. When we stepped up in faith, He gave us the tools to accomplish the goals He set before us. It was loaves and fishes types of miracles. He displayed His greatness daily. He strengthen existing relationships and cultivated new ones. God blessed us, walking alongside, as we continued to place our trust in Him. I’m not saying we didn’t have problems. Nothing is perfect. We had our share of minor setbacks, irritations, upset and unpleasantness but overall 2012 was pretty awesome.
It’s hard to say goodbye to a year like that ….. simply because I don’t know and have no control over the future. (Gasp — I know). It’s such an irrational and unholy fear. Totally sinfully human. It’s something God’s still working on in me. The trust thing. See, I know hard times are coming, that’s just inevitable. This season we’re in will eventually pass. Life will take a sudden twist. In the blink of an eye things can change. Nothing on this earth is a sure thing. Jobs come and go. People come and go. One catastrophe can wipe you out financially. Health fails with age. Stuff happens. It’s all in how we face and not fear “the stuff”.
I spent the afternoon meditating on this as we put things back in their place. Regardless of life circumstance God will still be walking alongside. Jesus assured his disciples in John 16:33, therefore I can be assured. My peace? I find that in Him. In this world I will face many trials and sorrows but my Lord has already overcome the world. In truth, I shouldn’t fear moving forward into 2013, I should eagerly and expectantly engage in the next thing He has for us. As Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10, we are God’s masterpiece, made new in Christ so we can do the good things He planned for us a long time ago. I love what David writes in Psalm 56:3, when I am afraid I will put my trust in Him, and in Psalm 73:26 my flesh may fail, but my God …. He never will!
That’s a perspective befitting a fresh new year!