Have you ever wanted to put a sliver of time in a box and kick it to the curb?
That is how I felt about the year 2015, and I was ready to bid it goodbye long before it drew to a close. It was the time-bound representation of a particularly intense period of tribulation and distress in my life, and I was beyond ready to rip our 2015 calendar to shreds and move on.
I needed to see a number that did not serve as a constant reminder of the hard, dark places I had traversed. A number that spoke progress and made the light at the end of the tunnel seem even a smidgen closer.
There were days when I railed against the crucible when the budget buckled under the weight of an expense foisted upon us by deceptive relatives, and my health took a turn for the worst. In those moments, the Holy Spirit reminded me of seemingly unpalatable truths and preserved my sanity against all odds.
I am in awe of His Faithfulness.
This potent reminder from one of my favourite small books does my soul good:
The Father’s presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the world. Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us. He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. The blow that is aimed at him falls upon the Saviour, who surrounds him with His presence. Whatever comes to him comes from Christ. He has no need to resist evil, for Christ is his defense. Nothing can touch him except by our Lord’s permission, and “all things” that are permitted “work together for good to them that love God.” Romans 8:28. (Thoughts From The Mount of Blessing, page 71 paragraph 2)
This new calendar year presents no miraculous shifting of circumstances, but I am confident that the God Who walked with me through the trials of 2015 will not leave me to flounder in 2016. He knows the way through the hard places and my only task is to follow hard on His heels.
My singular desire for 2016 and beyond is to be more like Christ, and if I had to choose one word to inspire me as I move forward, it would be:
By God’s grace, I want to live the Emmanuel Lifestyle – a life in which the divine promise of God With Us is unmistakably evident in my choices, from conversations to clothing – and to reflect Christ in all things.
Only by His Grace.
Image credit: Ruthlyn M.