My super upbeat and smiley co-worker wished me a happy New Years Eve today, and on my way out the door she added, “2014 is gonna be your year, Bronwyn. I just know it!” I simply laughed and went on my merry way, but after having time to reflect I found myself thinking over the past year of 2013. I think in many people’s eyes this last year was not ‘my year’. If I was to judge a year as most people do, I might begin to feel sorry for myself since in all honesty there were painful times; trials meant for refining a sinful heart, necessary changes to mature and strengthen me, and a stripping away of many idols that I had been secretly cherishing. Seems to me that often in our weakness we begin to tune out the true pain and suffering of those around us and hone in on all our difficulties. And if we’re real for a moment, most of the time we aren’t setting our hearts to trust the God who promises to walk alongside us in the darkness, instead we recite comforting verses like Jeremiah 29:11 that we would like to interpret selfishly to mean we deserve something from God and cry out in frustration that things aren’t different. Then when the new year rolls around, we wish on a star that perhaps God will make our lives the way we desire them to be instead of laying our agendas down and worshipping the Saviour who saved and continues to save wretches like myself out of His immense mercy. After thinking further, I’ve come to realize I appreciate the painful times of this last year more than the ‘mountain top’ high moments, and that’s truly only because I know Jesus. Jesus is my Strength and my Song, my Lamp, my Shield, my Refuge, my Keeper, my Friend, my Husband, my Redeemer, my Healer, my Master, my Salvation. I am forever His, and He is mine, and so therefore all that I have and all that I am belongs to Him. How can I stand before my Creator and tell Him that His will for my life and the way He has governed ‘my’ past year is not right? Truth is that 2013 was not my year, and 2014 will not be my year. It is the Lord’s year, and He is the one who is sovereign over not only my life but each of our lives. I had a friend remind me yesterday that the more we set our focus on a certain milestone or moment, placing our hopes and expectations on an earthly event or thing, the more we miss opportunities to be used by God, to learn through Jesus Christ example, and to train ourselves to listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings in our everyday walk. Although I do have a sense of wonder looking at this yet unblemished upcoming year and all the promise it holds, I am being reminded today that this next year on this earth is not where I should be placing my hope, I place my hope in a holy God who saved me while I was yet sinning against Him, and who promises to one day transfer me to His glorious kingdom where my beautiful Saviour is waiting for me! This thought is more breathtaking to me than any twinkling fireworks or magical kiss ever could be.
I do wish you all a Happy New Year, but more importantly, I desire for you to have a Holy New Year, with hearts set on Christ who died for us.
“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:10
Love and prayers,