So the countdown has begun to say a formal farewell to 2016 and welcome another new year. I've read the posts about how 2016 was a horrible year and everyone is ready to see it go and move on. There have been memes and cartoon strips to, as sarcastically as possible, show that 2016 was not endeared upon. Lol! The election was at the top of that list of everyone's horribles, among many other things. But I think we miss one important fact...just because the clock strikes midnight and the confetti flies as the calendar changes over to 2017, it doesn't mean that all our difficulties and trials will magically disappear with the number 2017. The old year doesn't take those particular challenges with it.
Now I'm on no way trying to rain on your parade here. This doesn't mean you need to stop the New Year's party and curl up in the corner in a fetal position and cry. But one thing I've learned in my 43 years of life is that the difficulties I've encountered have purpose in the pain of them. Purpose that makes me lean more heavily into the big fatherly arms of my God for comfort and guidance. Purpose that sometimes changes the course of my life to line it up closer with a heavenly perspective. Purpose that keeps my eyes fixed Christ!
So what happens if those difficulties carry over to the new year?
I'm sure some of those trials will continue on in the new year but hopefully with a renewed sense of resolve to surrender them to THE God who can turn each mess into a beautiful message. God has been with me through every trial I've encountered and though they haven't been pleasant, He has taught me more about Him in its midst. Even when that difficulty was caused by my own selfishness and sin. He has shown me grace and mercy around each sharp turn of difficult and, even more so, brought me closer to His heart.
Yes, yes, I am like you too and would love for each difficulty to dissipate and stroll leisurely on the easy street of 2017 but I also know that when my perspective moves from "impossible" to "God-possible", the umbrella that tried to cover the downpour of rain gives way to praise as I dance in said rain.
Sometimes our negative outlook can cloud the blessings He continually does pour out on us. That doesn't make light of your difficulty. The challenge in front of you may be taking your breath and your breathing becomes more labored with every new blow to your gut. Dear friend, rest in His arms and begin to breathe in the breath of a Father who cares about you, who adores you, and really is for you. Maybe you're not seeing it that way right now but remember those patriarchs of scripture that traveled treacherous journeys as well and know that God doesn't give up on His children. He sees you through and strengthens you in the process. Press on dear friend! Keep the faith in HIM!
He is a good, good Father and I pray that no matter how 2016 ends and 2017 begins that we keep our focus on Him! He brings beauty out of ashes and I know YOU are beautiful!
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”