Ummm…what is happening to 2013? January 1st feels like yesterday. A sobering reflection. The days slip away and we’re left wondering what happened to our lives.
It is funny how life has a way of doing things that we do not expect. I fully intended to get back to my blog right after Lakeshore, but I guess that was not the plan. So here I am, a few weeks later!
Reflections on Lakeshore…
It was an amazing week. The fellowship and sense of unity as we worked towards a common goal in the kingdom of God was, well, an inspiring and beautiful experience. I tried to convey this sense in my final review of the week at the Lakeshore blog. I was honestly a little apprehensive about the event, as an introvert it was definitely out of my comfort zone, but God used it as a very good lesson for me. I learned a lot about myself, got pushed out of my shell, and actually discovered it was fun to be extroverted (sometimes)!
Reflections on 2013…
God is good. It is easy to take this for granted. We take so much for granted. It is an interesting experience to grow up. We are growing up through our entire life, it just happens more suddenly when we’re not children anymore. But I think back to those life-defining events of my childhood, and now in perspective they seem so trivial, but they aren’t trivial things to me then. That reminds me to never discredit the sorrow of others. I think it is easy for adults to belittle the crisis moments of kids. I don’t want to be that kind of person. I want to be the kind of adult who can empathize with the seemingly small sufferings of those younger than myself, because someday their trials will be big things to me, and they need someone they can trust to be there for them.
It is also natural for us to dread the trials in our life. True, who wishes sorrow and suffering on themselves? But sometimes we are so fond of comfort that we are not willing to go through the tribulations that we need. Because we grow the most when we are hurting. We feel closest to God in those moments of darkness, despair, and fear. It is when we feel everything is crumbling apart that we cling most passionately to the Rock of Ages. It is when our heart is so aching and broken we realize our own inability to help ourselves and we trust God, fully and without reserve. It shouldn’t be this way. We should be as willing to surrender ourselves to God in the pleasant times as in the hard times, but this isn’t generally how things go. And although the Word of God is full of promises of grace, it isn’t until we actually experience this that we gain a new level of faith and assurance. It is one thing to read of God upholding the believer, it is another thing to have this happen in your life. So what I am learning is that although it is never easy to embrace trials, there will always be grace to endure, and God will always give bountiful blessings to those who rejoice in all things.
I am discovering that there will never be a place of stability or equilibrium in this life. That’s hard for me. It is difficult for me to rejoice in change. I want everything to stay the same. I don’t expect perfection, I just want things to be constant, because then I can deal with it. But I’m finding that this is impossible. We are in a state of “becoming” here on earth, and we will not be pure “being” in a state of constant rest until Heaven. So self: just give up on the making everything stay the same. It simply won’t happen. You will change. The people around you will change. The world will change. You’ll just have to deal with it. Don’t look at it like a bad thing, but a challenge, a mystery, something that might make your life richer and better if you have the right attitude.
So far in 2013…
I am thankful for the Lord’s preserving strength and mercy. For His faithful grace to all those who seek to glorify Him.
I am thankful for the Scriptures, that we can actually know about the God we serve. It never ceases to amaze me when I think about God becoming incarnate, dwelling among man, and leaving us with the revelation of who He is. We do not serve a capricious god who leaves us to guess at his law. We do not serve an impersonal and far-removed god who refuses to reach through the boundaries of finiteness. We serve a great and glorious God who will humble Himself and stoop to our level so that we may know of Him, so that we will not grow discouraged or weary.
I am thankful for the many ways in which God ordains our lives and gives us grace through indirect means. Sometimes God uses people and situations to uplift us, and I am so thankful for this. It reminds me that I should never be so closed-minded, so wrapped up in my own life that I don’t see the opportunities God has put before me to be this encourager and means of helping others.
I am thankful for all that has happened and excited about all that God will work through and in me during the rest of this year.