Each New Year’s Eve, Brian and I do “themes” for each year instead of resolutions (although, this year, I was like everyone else and did make some sort of resolution to get in better shape. Yes, I was one of those 5 million people who signed up for a gym membership that the “regulars” hate).
Last year, my theme was “even if.” Here’s the blog that explains it more in depth, but the principle behind it was to not be in constant fear of the “what ifs” in life, but to proclaim that “even if” the worst things happened and all was stripped away, God would still be on His throne. He would still love and accept me. I would still be a child of the King. Well, quite a bit happened this year. To quote a classic book “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” To trump it all, I got married…you can’t get much better than that! But behind the scenes, and off the record (i.e. I didnt blog about it), it was one of my more painful years as well. A lot of change, transition, and “goodbyes” had to be said to some very significant parts of my life…and not really because I got married. For other reasons. Perhaps I will blog about it in upcoming blogs when I sit down to write out my “life story,” but needless to say, it put my theme into practice…Clinging to the fact that “even if” these things had shattered and I had to go on in life without them, it would be okay…God was still on the throne. He is still making all things work out for the good according to those who love and serve Him.
This year, my theme was inspired by this blog that I happened to read a few days before New Years (and totally had forgotten that I needed to think of a theme!). My theme is “BUT GOD.” I know, doesn’t make sense right now..so let me explain. 🙂 Throughout the Bible, we see humans facing insurmountable odds. We see impossible situations. We see lives that have no meaning and no purpose. We see people faced with sickness, trials, questions, uneasiness, weariness, fear, grief, battles, struggles, lack of direction, lack of peace, sadness, pain and even death. BUT GOD.
Remember Noah? He and his family built an ark because the wrath of God was going to destroy all mankind because of their sin against him. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. I bet that seemed pretty hopeless for them. I wonder if they thought they got their signals mixed up and that God may possibly destroy them all. “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede.” –Gen 8:1
Joseph went through all sorts of trouble because of his brothers and he said: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” — Gen 50:20
David was distraught and wondered if anyone was listening or cared. Then he said: “But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer.” –Ps. 66:19
The Savior of all creation was put to death. “But God raised him to life on the third day.” –Acts 10:40
We were all so destroyed and damaged by sin that we had absolutely no hope of saving ourselves. “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” Eph. 2:4-5
Our lives may be characterized by things that we think have permanently determined the rest of our days. These verses seem bleak and hopeless when only the first part of the story is told. BUT GOD can turn things around in an instant. Nothing is impossible for God. Nothing is too difficult for him. Nothing is beyond his reach. We may think we’ll never see the light at the end of the tunnel. We may think that our pain will never ever go away. We may think that the doctors have sealed our fate. We may think that this season of life will never end. We may think we will always be at this dead end. We may think that no one will ever see our worth. We may think that this struggle will never be overcome.
Wow. There is so much hope in those two words.
I pray that we experience some “But God” moments in 2011.