Tuesday, December 31, 2013
"And He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' And He said, 'Write, for these words are faithful and true.'" Revelation 21:5. This is the verse that my 2013 began with. I remember staring at it and wondering what exactly God would make new and what He meant by ALL things. The word "new" often comes with excitement and change. For some of us, the thought of change can bring hesitation and anxiety. I had mixed emotions. Ultimately my curiosity won out and I wrote it on a note card and put it on the refrigerator. I figured that by the time the year was over I would have my answers.
This is my New Year tradition. At the start of each year I ask God to give me a Scripture verse. Once He lays one on my heart I write it down and put it on the refrigerator where I can see it each day. I find that the verse often ends up being a guide throughout the year as well as a glimpse of what is to come and what to expect. Perhaps, now you'll better understand my mixed emotions upon receiving this one!
Did making all things new mean a new job for my husband? When He says ALL things, would that mean a new job out of the area that would require us to move? Moving would certainly make many things new! If we are going to move, where and why? These were a few of my questions. Now let me tell you about some of the things that He made new.
In January of 2013 my grandma died. I was there with her the day she died. I didn't want to go but I had the overwhelming urge to do so. My aunt and cousin were taking care of her in her final hours and I felt strongly that I should check on them and see how they were doing. I fought against the urge because I knew I would see Grammy too. Selfishly I didn't want that to be my last memory of her. However, that urge was from God and I couldn't seem to make it go away. I went and I have no regrets. God used it in ways I could never have imagined. In my grief I was able to be His hands and feet and comfort my aunts, uncles, and cousins. He made my relationships with them new. Being there that day continues to give me an open door for countless more opportunities to share His love with them in a tangible way.
At the end of March my husband decided to only work his car detailing business instead of having another job on the side with steady income. Up until that point, the business had always been a part time thing and never made enough to support us. He felt that God was directing him to do this and he stepped out in faith. Our needs have consistently been met and our bills have been paid on time.
In May my friend Hank died and I was surprised to learn that he left me His jeep. I didn't know that Hank cared that much for me. He wasn't good at expressing those things. God had used him to teach me how to love an ornery old man. Spending time with Hank helped me learn how to listen well. God's blessing of this new vehicle and instruction on giving freely has made some things new inside of me. I'm being made new in giving more freely because of how freely I have been given to.
These are just a few examples of how God has made things new this year. We didn't move. My husband didn't get a new job. The ALL in making all things new, was us. Through grief, new direction for work, Hank's gift, and many other decisions that we've had to make God has made us new. We haven't been able to plan ahead or see more than one step in front of us the entire year. Often times we didn't know where God was leading us until we were right up on it in the journey. It has taken the entire year for this to be okay with me! I am not wired for surprise or flying by the seat of my pants it frustrates me to no end. The biggest thing that has been made new this year is my heart, my trust in Him to lead me in the dark. Isn't that really what He is always after? The things I wondered about when I first received the verse were all external. God looks on the heart. We can face the external only when we let Him have His way in the internal workings of our heart.
I will enter 2014 tomorrow with a new verse. I don't know what the year will hold or how that verse will play out. What I do know is that even if I walk through the year never able to see more than one step in front of me, I am more than okay because He is my light and He holds my hand. How precious that God loves us so much that we don't travel into the unknown alone! I pray that as you enter into this new year you will know the comfort and the power of His presence in every moment. Happy New Year!