This is Going to be MY Year
In last weeks post I shared the typical catch phrases of the New Year...
"New Year New Me"
"This is going to be MY year".
"I resolve to"
...at which time I focused upon the spiritual implications of "New Year New Me". You can read about it here.
This week, I'd like to take a look at a New Year's phrase that, in my opinion, is becoming more and more prevalent, and that is "This is going to be MY year."
By the world's standards, this phrase seems to indicate that people have control over the upcoming year to be filled with "sunshine and unicorns". Now it's certainly nice to have a positive outlook for the New Year. I'm not at all implying that we should enter the new year preparing for "doom and destruction".
Having a "This is going to be MY year" mindset can also imply that a person feels they are owed a good year.
I confess that I can join in with that mindset. For me, 2017 was not a great year, by the flesh's standards.
And to be honest, I grumbled through the first few days of 2018. Nothing seemed to be going right...
Which is pretty ironic since I spent the first days of 2018 reading through the Book of Exodus - twice. I think that book could be subtitled, "The Book of Grumblings".
The Israelites had been in bondage in Egypt for 400 years after which time God sent Moses to bring them out of Egypt away from their oppressors to a land flowing with milk and honey; the land He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob hundreds of years before.
Their freedom was marked by 40 years in the desert where the Israelites continually grumbled and complained about their circumstances and desired to go back to Egypt, even if it meant bondage. Moses himself complained when God told him to be His spokesperson to Pharoah, and also grumbled to God about the Israelites complaints.
I was so struck by God's incredible patience and how He relented time and time again.
As I reflected upon the Israelites time of bondage and time in the desert, it occurred to me that those trials did not make God's promise any less valid. His promise was just as true then as it was the day He made it to Abraham. But the Israelites let their circumstances cloud that promise.
Yet not only did God ALWAYS intend to keep His promise, He was testing the Israelites, in Love, for the purpose of showing His power and reliability to them, AND to strengthen them.
How often do we let the promises of God become clouded to the point of disappearing when we go through fiery trials. Yup, this is me over here raising my hand...
Something else struck me about the Israelites time in the desert, God was always with them!
For throughout all their journeys,
the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day,
and there was fire in it by night,
in the sight of all the house of Israel.
But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. "For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior
He never left them alone. He heard their cries when they were in bondage and He accompanied them throughout their time in the desert. He would be their constant companion as He ushered them toward the fulfillment of His promise.
And so it is for us, His children. All of God's promises are yes and Amen in Christ Jesus. God is with us every step of the way as He ushers us to each fulfilled promise.
As I was closing out reading my Streams in the Desert devotion for the year, an encouragement was offered to "put your finger on God's promises and say, 'It is mine'." As those promises come to fruition, record them as a memorial and write, "fulfilled to me". What an amazing end of year exercise to do!
I wish I could say that we were all going to have a 2018 free from trials, but we know that this side of Heaven that will never be the case. But that doesn't mean we can't look toward 2018 without hope and anticipation. God will do an amazing work in and through us; RE-newing us daily - ESPECIALLY through the trials... Take heart...
for it is the LORD your God who goes with you.
He will not leave you or forsake you.
Instead of saying "This is Going to be MY Year", let us proclaim, "Lord, this is YOUR year". For our times are in His hands to walk in the works He has prepared for us to do.
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