2013 has been a hard year for our family. We’ve experienced a health crisis, job loss, total depletion of all our savings, crisis with our adopted son and his (hopefully temporary) departure from our family, and now, a relocation away from our family, friends, and church family.
And yet, I don’t think I’ve ever had a Thanksgiving when I’ve had more for which to be thankful.
This is the Scripture I am keeping close:
Lamentations 3:17-25 (NLT)
17 Peace has been stripped away,
and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”
19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.[a]
20 I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
21 Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him. (Emphasis mine)
God is good. Great is His faithfulness.
I don’t do “New Year’s Resolutions” per se, but I do like to spend time each January 1 reflecting on the highlights and challenges of the previous year and then writing down a “vision” for the next year. I try to “check in” with my list several times throughout the year to see how I’m doing.
I re-read my “Vision for 2013” the other night and I was really struck by something. There were 11 things on my list. Things like: Finish my Masters Degree, Pay off Debt, Write Regularly on my Blog, Read a Certain Number of Books, etc. These were all goals I set because I saw them as good and worthy pursuits to expand my mind, my learning, my career, my family, and my service.
Guess how many of my 11 goals I am on track to complete this year? One. Only one goal has God allowed me to remain on track to accomplish.
Read the Bible all the way through in 1 year.
Though I’ve done a lot of Bible study over the years, I had not read the entire thing cover to cover, ever, let alone in one year. So, I decided on January 1, 2013 I wanted this to be the year that would happen. And I’m on track to meet that goal by January 2014.
Why? Of all those “good” goals I set, why would this be the one thing that God would provide me the means, motivation, and opportunity to complete? Because He knew it would be the one thing that would not only sustain me in 2013, but cause me to grow.
It has been a hard year for our family. I concede that I will not be sorry to see 2013 go. But God is good and He has cared so gently for our family in this season. He has shown me (again) this year that He knows everything we will face and that — each and every day, because of His great love and mercy and faithfulness — He will equip us with everything we need to accomplish all that is set before us.
And so, I say again: Thanks be to God. Great is His faithfulness.