As I sit here writing at the end of 2009, I do so in a different house . . . a different city . . . a different state than I started the year. Surrounded by different people. Serving a different church. Indeed this year has brought a great deal of ‘different’ into my life. But there’s at least one good thing that remains the same.
I’m in the process of becoming what Christ wants me to be.
Rather than spending a lot of time focusing on what I want to do in the year ahead (even though I have a few things in mind), I think my energy would be better served seeking what God wants to do through me.
This world is such a chaotic place, and as I’ve alluded to a number of times before, sometimes that gets me down. I’ve learned through the years that there’s no shame in expressing emotions. There’s no shame in being real, authentic, transparent. There are risks involved with all those things — but I find that the joys far outweigh the vulnerabilities — and the opportunities for heart-to-heart ministry are found most readily at the intersections of our weaknesses. Even the psalmist dealt with emotional highs and lows, as evidenced in his writings. And I seriously doubt that he’d care much about playing the role of ‘perfect Christian’ that our culture seems so eager to cast — all for the sake of tearing down later in the theatre of public opinion.
I’m not the only one with doubts and fears either. In fact, what would a Christmas play be without an angel to say, “Do not be afraid”?
I’m not the only one who sometimes ventures off-course in my daily time with God. In my walk with Him, sometimes I lag behind . . . sometimes I wander ahead.
I’m not the only one who sometimes says things I shouldn’t say and does things I shouldn’t do. It’s called sin, and Scripture clearly tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
I’m not the only one who sometimes wrestles with priorities and suffers the physical, spiritual, and emotional consequences of an unbalanced life.
No, I’m not the only one. But there’s still not much consolation in that fact.
Here’s something different though: I am the only one who can moment by moment make the choice to surrender my will to that of the Father . . . to allow myself to just sit with Him awhile . . . to be still and know that He is God.
I’ve heard it said that the longer you live, the more you realize you don’t know. As I cross over into a new year, I will view it as a new beginning of sorts. But more than that, I will choose to view each day as a precious gift in which the God of the universe allows me to know Him more fully and share His message more freely with those who need to hear.
I’m not a cookie-cutter Christian. Instead I am hand-crafted by the Master, called according to His purposes, and fearfully and wonderfully made to bring glory to Him alone.
That, my friends, is what I want to do best in the year ahead — in whatever form it may take.
I pray God’s richest blessings on you in the new year. More than that, I pray that you will know how wide, how long, how high, and how deep is the love of Christ. (Eph. 3:18)