Monday, December 29, 2014

The End of Another Year

This final week of December is filled with reflection on the past year and anticipation of a new year. The Christmas season is behind us and celebration plans for the new year are in full-swing. Facebook feeds are sprinkled with remembrances of the year. Television programs are doing year-end reviews and reminding us of the top stories of 2014.
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Reflection on the past is a good thing. During this past week I was reminded not of something that happened this year, but something that happened exactly three years ago on the 26th of December. In an effort to maintain some privacy I won't share the event on this blog, but I will say that a God-timed moment reminded me of how good He is.

Three years ago I made a decision to take a step out of my comfort zone. What happened after that decision set off a chain of events that, had I known what was coming, I might have opted to hibernate and leave well-enough alone! However, what happened was both wonderful and downright painful. For the record, my decision was morally neutral--neither right or wrong. But it did open me up to some new experiences which grew me up spiritually and emotionally.

This blog was birthed during those difficult days and I chronicled some of the ups and downs right here. Someone once asked me if I could go back and change things, would I do it? My answer then (in the midst of the difficulty) was no. And my answer now is still a resounding NO!

This God-timed moment a few days ago reminded me...

of my FREE WILL, given by God. God doesn't sit up in the sky moving me around like some chess piece on a game board. Sometimes my life would be easier for Him to make those moves for me, but He gives me a sound mind and sense to seek His will and make my own decisions. Whether my choices are good or bad, He still uses my choices to accomplish His will for my life. It's amazing what He can do! 
Genesis 50:20 "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive."

that God has a PLAN for me and it's a good one. I've written about this many times on this blog. Going back to the first point: no matter what I do it's not going to "mess up" my future because God already knows before I do what my choices will be. So even when my life looks messed up beyond belief, I can trust that God has everything all figured out. Will He "fix it" for me? Uh... well, not necessarily. It depends on the situation. I need to take responsibility for my choices and pay the price for whatever my part is in my current situation. But He will be there to walk through it with me. Anyway, God can redeem ANY situation if I seek Him.   
Jeremiah 29:11-14 "For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’"

of God's merciful LOVE. Like any parent who loves a child regardless of their behavior, God loves me even more than that. His forgiveness is there when I seek it. God's mercy and blessings are there for me when I run to Him. 
Lamentations 3:22-23 "The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."

WAITING on the Lord is never a waste of time. This is a big one! As someone who likes to keep busy, waiting on someone else is not easy for me! But, this is a lesson that the Lord wanted to teach me during this period. Over and over again God reminded me to Be Still and Know that He is God (Ps. 46:10). He wanted me to cease striving and stop trying to be independent. God wanted me to stop trying to be my own god. (gulp) Instead, God kept hammering home this point of "get to know ME and trust ME." It took a lot of time, but that lesson finally took hold. I finally learned to Be Still and to wait and to trust Him. I learned, as Psalm 37:4 said, to delight myself in the Lord and trust Him for the desires of my heart.
Psalm 37:4-7a "Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him."

There were many, many lessons learned during these past three years. Waiting on God and trusting Him has been worth it. I've seen God do some amazing things! I expect there to be many new lessons to learn in the coming year as I continue to be His student, the daughter of a King, and His beloved. Here's a toast to the past and to the coming new year!