I am a list maker. I use lists for groceries, to meet writing deadlines, for house chores, and yes for New Year’s dreams. For me, the list is a simple reminder that brings focus. Last Sunday, my church handed out little cards with blanks for three things to believe God for in 2011. We did this last year too and as I looked at last year’s list, I see that two have been fulfilled and I still believe for the third one. It’s going on my card again this year and I will stand in faith believing that God will make it happen in His timing not mine.
That’s the catch – timing. We don’t always tap into God’s clock but we often want Him to follow ours. All the good intentions, the good habits and the discipline are to help us grow. But when things don’t happen as we think they should, we tend to look back and wonder where we went wrong, where we fell off the track, where we missed the mark.
I’m wondering if it’s just that we want to rush when our Lord wants to forge. He wants to form us with concentrated effort and yes just like a metal smith there is sometimes heating and hammering to get us to spend a bit more time on the foundation instead of rushing ahead to what we’re not ready for.
Over the past months, my husband and I have been heated to what we thought to be our melting point and then just like a splash of cool water, the Holy Spirit soothes our souls and reminds us with gentle clarity that God is at work. Tomorrow is 2011, and we must look ahead with enthusiasm – knowing that He is at the helm – opening doors so that we can walk in blessing and increase in every area of our lives.
Two weeks ago, my dearest cousin who is diabetic got a small blister on her toe and within days she lost that toe. I admit to weeping and wondering why God just didn’t heal the toe. (It’s really crazy when we think that we know better than He does:) When I went to see Mary Lynn this week, I wasn’t sure what to expect and I prepared myself to be strong for her as she had been for me so many times. But, as I hugged my dear sister (which she is to me) I could actually feel strength. In spite of the circumstances, she was radiant – there was not one ounce of “poor me – I lost my toe and spent Christmas in the hospital.” As I gazed at her beaming face, I saw Jesus – His tranquility, His power, and His peace that passes all understanding. Then I felt the familiar nudge of the Holy Spirit and I said, “Lovey, you look wonderful and what God is telling me is that from this day forward we don’t look back. We are only to look ahead – standing firm in faith believing that blood is flowing to every part of your body and that your foot is healing beautifully in Jesus’ name. The future is bright Mary Lynn because He is in control of our lives and we will only look ahead with confidence.” She said “Amen” and I knew she was remembering all of the moments that she had stood in faith beside me believing for Mia’s miracle. It is a precious gift to have history with others and to walk out of life’s valleys with confidence. The two of us had been here before and once again, with our Savior, we would emerge victoriously!
Today, on this last day of 2010, I encourage you with this thought. Don’t look back at the lists of yesterday but fix your eyes on the brightness that lies ahead.
Together we look to 2011 with…
- Bigger dreams than ever before
- A giant reach for values and goals that are obtainable
- Unwavering trust in His amazing plan no matter what comes our way
- A bold walk seeking His will, His way
- Obedience to embrace God’s timing and
- Great expectations for the New Year!
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)