Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5
I just can’t believe it is the end of 2014. I must be getting old fast since this year was nothing but a vapor. Remember when we were kids and the years seemed so long? Remember how it took forever to get to Christmas? Remember how our parents would say the opposite? “I can’t believe the year went by so fast!” I would hear my Mom say…and I just couldn’t see it…till now…
Well, as we stand on the last two days of 2014, there comes the inevitable look at the year we are leaving behind.
This exercise has never been particularly easy for me. I get attached too quickly and it is hard for me to let go. Some things, however, I’m glad to see gone, but for the most part, I intensely dislike the melancholic feeling of saying goodbye. But we are called to examine ourselves, and what better moment to do so that the end of the year.
I look back and shudder at the frightening things I had to endure. Radioactive pills, isolation, full body scans, ultrasounds, countless blood work, and the unbearable anxiety of waiting to hear from test results are all memories that bring back accelerated heartrate, sweaty palms and a bitter taste in my mouth. New jobs for Dan, new challenges at school for the boys, added responsibilities in my own work all piled up painful stress that I can still feel on my shoulders. Unresolved issues, deep suffering and lack of reconciliation in my side of the family continue to be a constant heartache.
Then I realize that there is no way I can survive if I concentrate on the bad. Then I remember my word for 2014…refocus…and how God allowed me to actually refocus my attention from the circumstances to the work that He has been doing through them. He has showed me, by helping me refocus my vision that all things, indeed, work out together for good for those who trust Him! He delivered me through the fire of radioactive iodine treatment and in each anxious moment, He showed me His presence, His mercy and His love. He used my illness to bring about some unexpected changes in the seemingly unchanging brokenness of relationships in my extended family. New jobs and new responsibilities have made life more interesting and have helped us in trying to refocus our energies on what we really want to do with our professional lives. The challenges that our sons are experiencing are teaching us to rely on God for parenting and to turn our eyes and put our trust on the One who controls their destinies.
All in all, thanks to our Lord’s merciful autofocus, I can see how the year we are waving good bye to was not a tragedy but a triumph. We are closing the page on a thought-provoking story that could only make sense when read through the eyes of the writer…the Divine Story Teller who pieces everything together to perfection. I can’t wait to open the new one He has composed for us in 2015! For now, Happy New Year!
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.