Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My 2012 Take-Away

I am not a fan of New Year's resolutions.  I never keep them, so why would I profess to do something knowing chances are by January 2 I will have already broken it?  Seems like any easy way to create something to just remind myself over and over throughout the year what a failure I am.

Um, no thank you.

I am grateful 2012 is gone.  It was the hardest year of my life.  A year full of heartache.  Loosing my mama in March has left a gaping wound in my heart.  A wound I'm not sure will ever heal.  Not this side of Heaven anyway.

Oh, how I miss her!

And there were lots of other hard things.  Too much tragedy.  Way too many tears.

I've been asking myself what my take-away from 2012 is going to be.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. ~ Hebrews 13:8

He's the same Jesus on January 1, 2013 as He was January 1, 2012.  He was faithful then, He's faithful now.

He loves me.

Oh, how He loves me.

One of my most favorite songs is by David Crowder,  "How He Loves".

When I stop and really think about how much He loves me, I become so overwhelmed.  For someone who has spent most all of her life trying to convince Him to love her ... trying to be good enough or make up for past mistakes ... only to realize His love is unconditional, unwavering and undeserved ... well, it's more than I can process.

I am so grateful for His love.  I am grateful that His mercies are new every morning, and His grace is constantly being poured over me.

I couldn't have survived 2012 without Him.  He carried me through.

I had someone ask me a couple of weeks ago how I could still trust a God who had allowed everything that had happened in my life this past year.  She even brought my illness into the equation.  This question came from a friend who has seen all of the year's events.

I wasn't exactly sure how to answer her.  She's professes to be a Christian, so I wondered if maybe it was a trick question.

But she was serious.

So, I thought for a few moments, trying to come up with some sort of deep, theological reasoning.  Reasoning she wouldn't be able to argue with me about and would perhaps make me sound like a "super-Christian".

After a few moments I finally said, "Because I do".

Bad things are going to happened to us.  We are going to loose people we love.  We are going to hurt.  Some of us will experience chronic illness for which there is no cure.  We will watch those we love suffer, and not be able to do one thing to make it better.  The bible doesn't say, "if" it happens.  It says "whenever" it happens.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-4

I don't claim to know all the reasons we suffer in this life, but I do know God is sovereign.  And just like Paul tells us, I believe everything happens for my good and His glory.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.  ~ Romans 8:28-30

I trust Him because He is trustworthy.  With His unending love, abundant grace and ever-flowing mercies He carries me through those seemingly unbearable moments.

And there have been a lot of those moments.

No doubt there will be more.

But I can face them knowing He's going to carry me through.

My take away from 2012 is understanding the love Jesus has for me just a little bit more than I did.  When I examine all of the events of this past year, there He was.

With love like a hurricane, He loves me.

And I am certain that on January 1, 2014 I will be able to look back at this year and see my Jesus was there supplying me with exactly what I need to get through each and every moment of the day.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. ~ Psalm 51:10

Happy 2013, y'all!!

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