Each New Year we seem compelled to do something, resolve to change, make things better. What if life is still hard? How do I know if it will get better?
One of the challenges I gave myself in 2019 was to be purposeful in all that I did. I didn't want to waste time, energy or resources on things that were not Kingdom Issues or activities that did not grow me, my relationships or add value to my life. Then life began to rush past with incredible speed; I couldn't keep up. I had to stop, reset, pray and wait. While I missed writing the posts for Chalk Borders, I did not want to write simply to write. My desire is for every post to be meaningful, have depth of content and be worthy of your time and thoughts. Therefore, I stepped back from my writing commitments for a time to listen to my Adonai. What did He wanted me to say?
I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the LORD.” I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:17-27 NKJV
With the new year, I began to reflect on 2019. My mind flooded with thoughts of things that had not gone the way I had hoped, and I realized my attitude was moving toward melancholy. It is easy to listen to the world whisper that you deserve better or you should have received certain things that did not come; reminders that life is not fair. This "voice" deprives us of peace! I stopped myself and consciously decided to focus on the good the LORD had done. Yes, there were obstacles, some pebbles and some boulders, some had been moved, others still sitting there, but through it all the Ancient of Days remains. The Almighty, King of Kings is still on His sovereign throne, high and lifted up, so I will praise Him! This story is not finished.
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:4-5 NIV
Think for a minute about a few Biblical life applications. When Abram was called out of Ur, would he have imagined that he would never see the fulfillment of God's promises? As the Hebrew Children were enslaved in Egypt, hoping to be rescued from their slavery, did they ever consider they would wander in the dessert for forty years? When the angel Gabriel told Mary and Joseph they would be parents, could they have envisioned their Child's future?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 NIV
One of the obstacles our family walked through last year was our son not receiving a position he deeply desired. We honestly believed God was opening this door. Our son had prayed, given his best effort and fulfilled all the requirements; success seemed imminent. However, at the very last minute the position was given to another. As he makes preparations to apply for the upcoming year, he has stepped back to evaluate the previous course of events. With fresh eyes he commented that he can see how the LORD has shaped him and better equipped him to try again. Not only has our son learned new skills, expanded his circle of influence, but he has matured spiritually and now feels more prepared to handle the responsibility of the position. Great is His faithfulness! We will regroup, pray, work and leave the results to the Author and Perfecter of our Faith.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. Psalm 95:2 NIV
Our LORD and Savior is on His throne. He has a plan for our lives for our good and His greater glory. Our attitude will help us move through the rough places, find the strength to continue even when it is not comfortable, when we do not know where we are going or what we are looking for. This I know: Elohim separated the light from the darkness, good from evil, and holds my future in His mighty hand. He know me by name, every hair on my head, and what breaks my heart. He loves me and has created me according to His perfect plans for His glory, so...I will trust Him.
Marvelous Creator God, King of the Universe, we humbly come before You knowing that You have good things planned for us with the results established to bring glory to Your Wondrous Name. Help us learn to trust, rest and walk in the assurance that not only will we survive the difficulties, but with Your hand upon us, we will flourish in the midst of them. I will choose to be grateful, to rejoice in music and song, to dance as an expression of my genuine thanksgiving to the ONE who holds it all.
Thank you, ABBA, holy Father God. "Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth." (Ps 96:1 NKJV) Amen.