As we begin a new year and a new decade (2020!), we often reflect on the past, while also hope for the futures to come. Caleb and I would like to thank all of our subscribers and active followers for another wonderful year! We have been blessed in many ways, but are encouraged by those of you who encourage us. We both began a new “career” in our lives (college) which has contributed much business to our everyday schedules, along with other work related responsibilities. With that, we have both seen God move in our own lives. With the new year, I think it is important to reflect on this God we serve, both in a practical and an abstract manner.
I just started a new Bible reading plan for the year; it is taking me from Genesis to Revelation in 101 days (its quite a load). Already, I have enjoyed walking with the Israelites in their journey with YAHWEH. Something that I have noticed is the number of times the LORD says “Remember!” What is the one thing the Israelites did? They forgot, and it did not go well with them. Years of turmoil. depression, paganism, and so on came from it. For our own lives, let us not forget how God has moved in the past year. I urge you to reflect on some personal questions:
- What did God save you from?
- How did God answer your prayers?
- How was God good to you?
- How have you praised God best?
- What spiritual discipline did you do best, and which one needs the most work?
- What did God show you?
- How did you advance God’s Kingdom?
When reflecting on those questions, some may be very encouraging, but some may be condemning in a way. Maybe you feel you did nothing to advance the Kingdom of God. Whatever the case may be, you learned from it. God put that experience in your life and on your heart for some area of growth that may not make sense for years to come.
His Plan, Not Ours
I am perpetually reminded that my plan is not God’s, thank goodness! In thought, I am often brought to our brother Joseph (Genesis 37-50), the favored son of Jacob, son of Rachel and one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Joseph had it rough, he was sold by his brothers and ended up in Egypt. He was then put in charge of a very powerful man’s household. He did EVERYTHING right, but it landed him in the dungeon. I can only imagine what he was thinking. I would have been mad at God if it were me. Joseph stays the course; he is then gifted by God to interpret dreams. He helps out some fellow cellmates who are servants of the king by interpreting a dream that was given by God. They get out of jail, but Joseph is still there, even after telling his cellmates to inform the king it was Joseph who interpreted their dreams. But no, Joseph waits again, finally he is called out to help Pharaoh. The story continues, but eventually we see how all of Joseph’s experiences allow him to save the whole Earth from a famine, essentially becoming the CEO of the largest food distribution company the world has every seen. I love it when a plan comes together!
As we look forward to the new decade, let us not forget what God has already done in our lives. This should be an encouragement to His glory and power. Furthermore, maybe we can look at our hard experiences as a training ground for things to come, for the ultimate plan He has for our lives. A wise man once told me you only smell the stink when you’re in the stink. If you feel like you’re in the stink, try taking a step back, look at God’s providence through it all. Ultimately, His glory WILL be made known. I don’t know about you, but I want to be a part of that!
Happy New Year! May God bless you and keep you as you pursue His kingdom more with each day.