Hope of a New Year

How would you describe your mortal existence? Would you focus on the list of accomplishments, the failures, the happiest of times, or the seasons of growth?

A person’s life is a summary of innumerable moments including the good and bad, and those individual moments are grouped into books and chapters. From a distance these books stack next to each other very similarly, but when you begin to open the pages you finally see the astonishing discovery of certain moments that are beyond words or description.

I’ll be the first to say that there have been days, months, and sometimes even years that felt as monotonous as the last, and I remember longing for more excitement and adventure – especially when I was still a kid. Well, as I grew older, I got more than I had asked for. Before I knew it, the innocent wide-eyed child was gradually being replaced by a dubious and jaded adult. Does any of this sound familiar?

This year. 2017. It leaves a vile taste in my mouth. Yes, there were some amazing moments and highlights this year, like the birth of my cousin’s son and going to Europe for vacation. However, regardless of those good things, the caveat to all of that is that this year was the most painful and gut-wrenching year I have yet to experience. Some of you may understand exactly what I am alluding to…

Everything is fine UNTIL it is NOT. When that unforeseen moment comes, everything changes… Plans change. Prayers change. Relationships change. Faith changes.

YOU ultimately change.

Maybe this was the case for you this year. Maybe the wounds are still fresh, and you are struggling to comprehend how the world can keep on going while YOUR world is in shreds. Maybe you don’t know where to go from here.

If you are wishing that 2017 never happened or at least certain events had not happened, I completely get where you are coming from. As I look toward the horizon of a new year dawning, I keep hold of one thing with my every breath:

H  o  p  e

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
     He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. | Isaiah 61:1-3

If the same Spirit that resurrected Christ from the dead resides within me, then I believe that He will take the tattered pieces to create a new and beautiful masterpiece!

I cling to the truth of His character and His Word.
I cling to His promise that His mercies are new every morning.

Even though I don’t understand why God allowed such heartbreak this year, I trust that God does everything for our good and for His ultimate glory. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, but when God makes an action there is a domino effect and an eternal impact that we cannot comprehend or predict on this side of heaven. I hope for the day that I close my eyes and awake to see Him in ALL of His glory.

What a new year that will be!

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