Happy New Year! Here’s to another year on the journey of life. A year filled with growing peace, joy, faith, and hope.
Throughout this holiday season, the scripture that has been written on my chalkboard is Romans 5: 2b. It says “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” It was mentioned by Pastor Glen Packiam in church today as well. Hope in the glory of God.
Recently, I read an email from a friend describing her time of reflection on this past year, as well as looking towards the coming year. She makes time to list things she has accomplished over the year, takes note of things that she had hoped to do and didn’t, and sets goals for upcoming year. I thought it sounded wonderful.
So, I sat down to reflect. I started with a list of things I had accomplished, and didn’t make it too far. Hmmm… my divorce was final. Not such a wonderful accomplishment; just a major life change I survived. So…. I survived a divorce. And I have grown in my faith. There’s a good one.
As I started to really reflect over my year, and thought about all of the things that have happened to me, it became a list of all of the things God has done in my life. Now, I can make a huge list, baby. Really, none of the amazing things that have happened to me have been of my own accomplishment. It has been the work of mighty God that loves me so incredibly much that he is making sure I get the message. Loud and clear. Hope in the Glory; the glory is all His.
This was a stressful holiday season; (it was the first year after the divorce, and I tried so hard to try to keep things intentional, fun, and happy for myself and the kids). I find myself moving into the quiet, barren landscape of winter. There is space and time dig deep within, and allow the Holy Spirit to move and speak. In facing myself, I had to admit my sheer and utter dependence on Him. To meet me in my sadness, loneliness; to be my comforter. To say I was unprepared for the emotions that hit me this Christmas is an understatement. But, I found myself face to face with God, and had to allow His arms to comfort me, as well as his Spirit to remind me that it all boils down to Him. Nothing else matters.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” When I think about my past year and what “I” have accomplished, it appears much like a wasteland. But when I look at how God has moved in my life, I see streams that are already flowing. Streams of life, healing, and hope.
I realize that I am learning to operate under God’s strength. Having faith in His presence, feeling a growing excitement in hoping for the Glory to come. And recognizing the Glory that is and has been. Notice I said learning. Much like a newborn baby, I am helpless and utterly dependent upon my parent (my Father God) for survival. There is nowhere in a newborn’s thought processes that doubts their needs will be met. Unlike a newborn baby, I have had a lifetime of an independent spirit and a rebellious heart, with a crushed sense of self to boot. I doubt so often, it is almost embarrassing. I wonder how “I” can make things happen. How I long to be that newborn that knows nothing other than complete love and being just fine with being totally dependent. To unashamedly have Him be my total source.
Having faith like a child is harder when you are a grownup, because you have had a lifetime of assault on your faith. By the enemy. He wants us to believe every lie he whispers in our ear, keeping us from believing the truths God promises us. But “I am a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come!” 2 Cor. 6:17. I am becoming the baby that knows nothing else but the fullness of love and every need met from an adoring parent. Thankfully, my Lord is the one parent that will never fail me. EVER.
So I am having to learn a new way. The way of such canyon deep faith that is being etched into my being, it cannot be removed. Peace is flowing in like a river through the canyon of faith, flooding out my self-sufficient arrogance. Joy is blooming in the wastelands, and hope is spilling from the dark crevices. God’s glory echoes all around. Reverberating. Rejoicing.
So as I head into this new year, I stand on God’s promise of the new thing He is doing in me; in my life. I am bursting with hope at the thought of giving God all the glory for this life He has given me to live. And I am working at not being so surprised at His meeting my every need. It’s just who He is; I’m learning to walk in that canyon of faith and trust, and shout His glory from the mountaintop.
I pray blessings over you; may you see how God works in every area of your life. And may your life bloom with the good gifts that only He can give.