Friday, January 2, 2009
Looking both ways
At the beginning of a new year, people like to take a look back over the past year, ponder it, savor it maybe, and then turn and check out the year to come. So I've tried that, and what I found is that the year past has brought lots of unforeseen adventures, along with some great gifts. None of it could I have seen coming. Not the car accident or the economic slump or the sudden job changes... And not the rich blessings that come with each of those challenges, either.
And if I try to look at the upcoming year, all I see is a fog. Everything coming up is just as unforeseeable as last year's things were. Recent economic changes will lead to more changes in the coming year. There are more questions than answers, and thinking too much about it just leads to worry. So I don't think I want to focus on all that unknown. Instead of looking at the past and at the future, I think I want rather to look at some things I do know.
I do know that God rules. Nothing is out of His control. Nothing. He started this whole story of earth and life, He is maintaining and sustaining it, and He will bring it all to the right ending at the right time. This I know. And...
I do know that He loves me. A lot! This is constantly shown to me by the myriad of little love gifts that he gives me daily. His tender care for me in things large and small show me his love. And His word also tells me that God is love. He loves me!
So if God is in charge and all powerful, fully capable of taking care of things..... and if God sees me as a precious child of His, wrapped in His love..... then I am going to be ok. One way or another, His love and His power will keep me safe. He cares for me and He's big enough to make a difference. And when things happen that are not good, not pleasant, but instead are hard and not fun at all... well, then He goes with us through those times, and He turns it all to good for those who love Him and are called to His purpose.
"No good thing will He withhold from them who walk uprightly". So my job is to walk uprightly, and His job is to take care of everything else.
And you know what? I can do that! I can try to walk uprightly... watching my walk, my friendship with God, trying to do things His way, tuning into His Word and loving Him. I will get it wrong sometimes, but I can tend my heart. And when I do get it wrong I can make things right again as soon as possible. It's about my relationship with God. It's about keeping my heart turned toward God.
And all the worries of the upcoming year, the fears and all of it, just sort of fade when I get that perspective right. When I am focused on God and who He is, everything else falls into place. When I focus on pleasing Him, it all smooths out. Yeah... and I can do that!
As we ring in the New Year, I wish you all a very good year ahead! Happy New year, everyone!
(pic: bell at the end of our porch. for ringing in the new year, naturally)