With a quiet, unassuming ‘click’ the door of 2017 closes. It’s December 31,2017 ,11:59 pm. Across the globe, or more like within time zones, people eagerly anticipate the change of numbers when 11:59 becomes 12:00, the 7 in 2017 is replaced with an 8, and 12/31/17 changes to 1/1/18. The second it happens the night air is shattered with gunshots, fireworks, shouts, and celebration. A brand new year has begun and the door to second chances, fresh starts, possibilities , opportunities, and changes swings wide open.
As I stand on the threshold of this brand new year, I breath deeply of the hope, expectancies, and unknowns and smile. How can I not smile when my Master and Guide is standing right beside me ready to take the first step with me. I grab His large, gentle hand and say, ” Let’s do this, God! I know you have this whole year in Your control. I trust You with my life and I know that you’ll always be by my side no matter where you lead me.” I take my first step; God just retraces His. You see, He’s already walked the way and knows where the potholes, quick sand, eerie woods, sunny meadows, treacherous mountain passes, smooth stretches, and battle grounds lie. He knows where the greatest tests will be as well as the greatest victories. That’s why I’m not taking this trip alone. I wouldn’t survive it alone.
We walk on together, side by side, enjoying each others company on this gorgeous stretch of path. Without warning, a storm bears down upon us , thunder crashes, flashes of lightning blinds me temporarily, the rain beats mercilessly on my unprotected head. “God! Where are you?” Terrified by the intensity of this unsuspecting storm, I suddenly feel very alone and helpless . “God! God?” I cry out again.
” I’m right here , my Child. Feel my hand? I was always here.” His calm, gentle voice soothes me as I draw near His side once more. ” I knew this storm would terrify you but why? Didn’t you know I would be with you? Trust . Just trust, my Child. I didn’t say this road would be easy but what did I promise? ”
” That you would never leave nor forsake me,” I replied as I feel his arm wrap around my shoulders sheltering me from the storm and muffling the thunder. ” And that it will be worth it in the end.”
” Are you ready to continue?”
” Yes! Let’s keep going … together.”
I don’t know how you feel about this new year but I hope you choose to stick close to your Master and Trust Him with every mountain, valley, and plateau you arrive at, knowing that He knows what’s best for you. Don’t let the fears of the unknowns sap your joy! Embrace His hand and walk confidently the way He has choosen specifically for you for the year of 2018. Grow! Thrive. Learn. Surrender. Trust. Serve.
As I look back on the events 2017 I see God at work in my life time and time again. He was there constantly guiding me, teaching me, and stretching me. When I finally handed over my will to Him, He gave me joy and freedom I didn’t know existed. I learned what true surrender felt like and the struggle that accompanied it. I discovered the invaluableness of friendships with older , wiser women whom God used to speak into my life at just the right moments.
It was hard to watch the undertaker close the lid on my Grandpa’s coffin for the final time and harder still to watch that coffin slowly get lowered into the ground. Grandpa forever gone from this earth and never to be seen again. So final. A sun beam broke through the clouds and shown on the group of mourners , a reminder of the hope of Heaven! Heaven! The place where death has no more power , families will be reunited and I’ll get to see Grandpa again , and the tears will be wiped from our faces with the finger of God. I thank God that I had a godly Grandpa , one who loved his family dearly, but was surrendered and ready to go when God called him away from the pain cancer had enveloped him in.
A lot happened this past year but God was there through it all giving sustaining strength and grace. I don’t know what this new year will hold but I do know Who holds it and that’s all I need to know.
This new year will be exciting! God has wonderful plans for me and for you! Join me in my pursuit of knowing Him more and serving Him with everything He has given us. Sometimes it’s in the darkest valleys that God’s light shines the brightest. Make this year a good year to remember and give your best to whatever it is God has called you to today whether or not you enjoy it.
Walk with God and see where He will lead.