Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Great Is His Faithfulness!

                Another year gone and another one is about to start. Most of us are reflecting on the past year; the love, the loss, the hopes, the dreams, and even the disappointments that we experienced over the last twelve months. This morning, as I sit on my sunny North Carolina porch, sipping my coffee and watching the sun come up, I am reminded of the faithfulness of God through this past year. I too, have been reflecting on all that took place this past year. I am reminded of Jeremiah, who said, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is His faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

                Every one of us has had trials, struggles and triumphs through this past year. But each one of us has also experienced the faithfulness of God through it all. Jeremiah says that it is because of the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed. It is because of His love and His grace that I am able to sit here today and write these words. 2013 was a tough year for me. The Lord took me down roads I did not want to go. He threw monkey wrenches and potholes into my path and many times I tripped and fell. But through it all, I was not consumed. I did not come to an end, I was not finished. It at times felt like I was, like my life was over, but in the end, He kept me upright and held my hand.
                When I look back on all that has happened, I see a God who loved me, I see a God who knew what was best for me. Even though while the trial was happening and I cried out to Him asking “Why”, He never let go of me. It was because of His faithfulness, shown through His mercy that I was able to make it through and come out a more mature Christian.
                So many times I think we look back on the year that is passing and see the bad before we see the good. We question why things happened, we question why we did the things we did, said the things we said, but in the end, we must also remember what Romans 8:28 says to us. “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to our purposes.” We wonder why our prayers were not answered, or why they were not answered the way we thought they would have been. We question God’s hand as it works in our lives. But in the end, when we really, truly, with honest and open hearts look back over all that has happened, there is only one thing for us to do, and that is praise Him for His mercy, because we were not consumed.
                My past year has seen so many changes. Not only in my spiritual walk with Christ, but in my relationship with my children, my husband, and my sisters in Christ. If God had not thrown those monkey wrenches and potholes in my path, I honestly believe that none of the blessings that I experienced would have come to pass. My book would not have been written, or published. My daughter in law would not have come to know the Lord. My son and daughter would not have opened their hearts and given church one more chance. So many blessings would have been missed had God, in His mercy, not taken me down the path He prepared for me.

                As you reflect on this past year, I want to encourage you that when you see the bad, instead of questioning God, thank Him for His mercy. He could have left you to yourself, to fend for yourself. But because of His great, unending, never failing mercy you are still here, and you still have a voice to praise Him with. As we look back, let’s not reflect on what might have been, but let us be thankful for all that was, the good, the bad and even the ugly. For in the end, it is only through those monkey wrenches, those potholes and those tears that you have become the child God desires you to be.
                I do not know what you experienced this past year, and perhaps these trials, these hurts and the pain of it all is still with you, wanting you to carry it with you into the next year. But don’t, please don’t. Lay those burdens down at the foot of the cross and say with a loud and joyful voice, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed. Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is His faithfulness!”
                I pray the Lord God would open your hearts to experience the joy of His mercy and His compassion that keeps our feet upon the paths He has chosen for us, even the paths full of potholes and monkey wrenches. To Jesus Christ be all praise and glory this year and into the next. May Christ Jesus be the meditation of your heart all the year through. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.

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