Along with most of the world I’ve spent the last 24 hours reflecting on the previous 365 days and pondering the year ahead. Although not one for resolutions I’m still making the most of this poignant time and trying to be more intentional about the usual – get fitter, eat less cake, spend less money.
Like every year 2018 had its huge ups and downs – personally, for friends, and all over the world. There has been unimaginable heartache and spectacular joy and everything in-between. Despite our positive thinking and own goals, 2019 will be the same. There will be wonderful times and atrocious events and so I feel an enthusiasm but wariness for the coming days.
My faith in Jesus holds me steady in the uncertainty. I have been well reminded of late that my idea of how life should be and how events should unfold are often not the way God works. He is absolutely not cruel or nasty but terrible events happen and so like everyone, people in the Bible included, I find myself asking why? Why don’t you just sort it out God?
The more I read the Bible and see in my own life and the lives of those around me, Gods plans are always best. He does not create the devastation but he uses it for good. God is perfect. He is full of love and kindness, hope and promise. He is the creator of wisdom that far exceeds my mortal mind.
If I had been in charge then Jesus would have been born in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital with all the other royals. Instead he was born far from home in the most basic of surroundings showing God’s heart for the poor, understanding of being isolated and to show his absolute humility.
If I had been in charge Jesus’ first crown would have been encrusted with the finest of jewels but instead it was made of thorns and worn as he was hung naked from the cross. Through it he overcame all the bad and made a way for us to not live under law but in freedom, with direct access to God. He rose from the dead and overcame all death.
If I had been in charge Joseph would have been adored by his brothers while he wore his beautiful coat. His potential seen from an early age and harnessed in a school for the gifted. Instead he was thrown in a pit, put in prison and forgotten for years. But then he was raised to be one of the highest rulers in the land, leading the nation through the toughest of times with the wisdom of God and altering the future of the world.
If I were in charge there would be no sickness, no debt, no addiction, no relationship breakdowns, no crime and no pain. But God has other plans. He sees us and the world from a different view. I don’t get it and I will continue to pray and beg him to remove current pain and crisis. But I pray this safe in the knowledge that he can and does transform any situation, past, present or future and that he launches our human, worldly, very real problems into wonderful, eternal, unimaginably brilliant outcomes. I continue to trust that any situation, sin, problem or relationship handed to God will lead to redemption, restoration and beauty.
This year I will dig my heels into hope and do my level best to hand over every situation to him knowing that he will ultimately use it for good. This is his track record and even when I can’t see it, he’s never failed me yet.
If you want to find out more about Jesus and share the hope I have, feel free to get in touch.
Happy New Year – I pray whatever it brings, you know hope like never before.