I haven’t said it here yet . . .
Happy New Year!
But is it? Can you honestly wish others a happy new year when your world feels like it’s crumbling?
When in a tough season, new year tidings are hard to give – and receive. Much like Christmas merry-wishes, too. We don’t “feel it” when we’re in the valley. Or when dear loved ones are experiencing trouble. Their pain can hurt our heart as much as or even more than our own troubles.
I think of you often between publishing blog posts. I wonder about your season of life – about whether it’s a tough one for you right now, or a triumphant one. I wonder what I can say to help you, at least in some small way. If God allows, that is my goal.
I share (like with Embracing Another Test) what I think might help you to know you have a sister along this journey of life. To be real about the hills and valleys. And, to help you (and me) to embrace our seasons through it.
On the low side, the honest and the vulnerable, my thoughts often go to,
Yes, sometimes it does. It flat-out stinks. I sit with that thought for a brief moment. Then, in the next instant, I remember all the good. And that God is good.
In my quest this year to better live out the Fruit of the Spirit (How To Make Plans For 2021), I plan, through using the Spiritual Seeds Planner*, to be more faithful than I was for you in 2020. That not only means scheduling regular writing times, it means being open, real, and vulnerable (a little scary).
In light of that vulnerability, here goes.
Last week, it became hard to be “happy” (as in Happy New Year!) when seeing and praying about the troubles of family and friends. I was thinking, “Enough … enough!”
Then more hits came.
When in times of trials, is trusting God a natural reflex for you?
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
By now, most people are back to normal activities (actually, Covid new-normal). Yesterday, I felt a finality as I contemplated (my word for 2021) how life for most people continues as it was before their holiday break … and could continue for you and even for me except for all the hits.
I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?
What can we do to endure the tough times? When hard trials come (or several pile up), can we trust God?
I know this seems to be a canned response, but what I did is real. At one point during our “tough season hits”, I popped into a group text and shared the miracles I saw and/or experienced in 2020.
Upon further contemplation, I feared I appeared almost brag-y. Over-spiritual. Churchy, even. But, there was good in it. The process took my focus to the good that God did in my life last year. I counted the ways. Counting our blessings always helps our perspective.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.’
Part of God’s faithfulness is how He sends what we need when we need it. Our loving Lord provides what we need to hear when we need guidance, help to navigate through the valley(s).
This sermon from Andy Stanley gives us wonderful perspective. It’s long but worth the listen when you have the time later.
I don’t do as did Andy’s late friend, Regi. I don’t call the sick lung in my body “Larry”. (I don’t name illnesses as my own. Illness is not my buddy.) But . . .
A favorite part is what Regi told Andy one day early in his illness.
Can you keep that perspective? Even when the hits keep coming, your life is in God's hands. Nothing has changed. Click To Tweet
My life has always been in God’s hands. Nothing has changed.
Back to my statement about feeling brag-y. I don’t feel bad about giving that impression when I also include Regi’s statement of faith.
My life is in God’s hands. Nothing has changed.
Your life is in God’s hands. In who’s hands would it be better to be held? None other than the Lord.
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!
How comforting. We can face the future with confident faith, friend.
Through it all, through tough or triumphant seasons, God walks beside you. The Lord is faithfully there. Lean on Him.
Because He lives~
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