We are in the last week of the year.. that very interesting week between Christmas and New Years. 2013 is ending next Tuesday..which just happens to be my birthday. Growing up I really disliked being born on New Years Eve. Because people were busy celebrating.. I felt like it was a strange time to have a birthday..especially since everyone was already tried out from the holidays.
As an adult I totally enjoy having been born on this date. Each new year of my life starts on January 1st.. how convenient and New Years Day has real significance for me..it is truly the beginning of a new year. I can look back and reflect on 2013 and realize that next week there will be a new beginning. You can do the same thing even if you are not having a birthday.
God wants us to look ahead and expect great things from Him. He also reminds us to look back and thank Him for all that He has done for us. As the year ends and the new one begins we are can say without a doubt that He was with us. When everything seemed to be falling apart..He was there. When we were celebrating..He was there. When we were feeling hopeless.. He gave us hope. When we were filled with joy..He was the reason.
As we cross over the bridge between the already and the not yet..we can be reminded of the promises we have in Him. He has already come into the world and His kingdom is unfolding and yet we wait in anticipation for the things that are not yet completed. He is the Redeemer and we can rest in the knowledge that this new year will provide more opportunities for His redemptive work to bring healing and restoration in our lives and in the lives of those around us!
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. (psalm 126:1-3)
2013 is half over. We’ve reached the half way mark today. God has been busy this year doing all kinds of things. I can only imagine what will happen in the months to come. Fourteen years ago I began my life over in the month of July. Since that time, nothing has ever been the same. I was widowed July 6, 1999. . the beginning of a new season in my life.
Because the marriage was extremely difficult, I grieved but I also felt a sense of relief. God was setting me free to experience so many new things that I could have never anticipated. So here I am, married again..for 11 years..rejoicing in the goodness of our God. I remember thinking that my life was over..how could I start over after a 25 year relationship? What would my new life even look like? It was very scary and a little exciting.
My new life started up almost instantly and it was filled with surprises. God blessed me with a new husband, wonderful son-in-law, and three amazing grandchildren. . I married into a wonderful faith filled family and acquired three grown step children and ten more grandchildren.. I was given the opportunity to go to seminary and start my own counseling practice. I’ve had time to spend many wonderful hours with my daughter.. making up for the years when we were unable to have the relationship I always wanted.
God continues to bless me with new friends and wonderful opportunities to do His kingdom work. All those years when I wondered if my life would ever change were not wasted. He was preparing me for this season when I would use my life experience to minister to the brokenhearted.
To God be the Glory.. He brings life out of death..He is always doing a new thing and today is the beginning of a new season! Rejoice in Him.
Two thousand and eleven. Wow! A new decade begins. A second decade in the 21st century. I I am surprised by life and the way it has changed over the last few decades. Technology continues to bring us new ways of doing things.. connecting with one another is easier and faster. We get on our computers, iphone or whatever and suddenly the world is right there in front of us in our bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, cars etc. We can find out about anything by just googling it online. The world is a smaller place.
In many ways this is makes life more interesting and expands our horizons.. in other ways it is intimidating and threatening. Our privacy is at risk.. true intimacy is at risk..relationships are at risk. Life just seems riskier and less under control. We need to realize that it was always this way..even for people who lived with little or no technology. The world has never been a very safe place..the risks we face are different.. we are not the first generation to face an uncertain future.
All the more reason to remember.. that God is our stability. He is our certainty. He knows the future. He always has and always will. As we venture into 2011 it is an opportunity to remind ourselves that He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. His plans for us are always good. His will for us is always perfect. He is leading..we are following. He clears the way for us. He will take us step by step into this new decade..preparing the way for us!
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”