A new year. A fresh start. A renewed sense of anticipation.
New problems. Fresh pressures. Resurrected heartaches.
I faced both lists in these early days of 2018.
A part of me wants to give up, abandon hope, flee from the fortress of faith in certain circumstances, which seem impossible to resolve. In areas where God intervened in the past, I feel shoved back to where I (we) started.
Some days I feel alone, misunderstood, unloved.
Tears flowed this past Sunday when two different loved ones lashed out at me with angry words and seemed incapable of empathy or understanding. In fact, they seemed banded together against me.
The evening before after cruel treatment from one of these loved ones who faced her own struggles and let her negative emotions overflow onto me, God reminded me of a song. I heard these powerful words several times on the radio in recent days. I got my guitar out that Saturday evening and learned the chords to the song.
I sang it to myself, the Lord, and even to the enemy.
The song spoke of the need to stand firm in the midst of difficulties. I thought of the verse with the words “stand firm” in it: “…stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV).
I knew with God’s help I could stand firm. Yes, these circumstances look bleak if I only see them with my human eyes. But as I turn my view to God’s perspective, I remember how in the past He used dark circumstances to bring about His plan and purpose in my life and in the lives of my loved ones.
So once again on Sunday in the midst of tears, I determined to trust Him and stand firm in my faith. I recalled His faithfulness, and I felt certain a miracle would soon burst forth like the Florida sun on cloud-filled days.
In the “mean time,” I also need to follow the instruction in the verse after the “stand firm” verse: “Do everything in love” (verse 14).
A while ago a song by the same singer who sings the “stand firm in your faith” song touched me so much, I made it my theme song for 2017: “Trust in Him” by Lauren Daigle.
I decided this new song, “Oh, Lord” will be my theme song for 2018. Yes, I believe for the best in this coming year, but often the best springs from the worst in my life.
Both songs center on trusting God, and one goal I gravitate toward each year proclaims, “Trust God more.”
I met that goal in 2017. And I look forward to the same achievement in 2018 with the acceptance of this fact: my growth in trust often comes through trials, traumas, and even tragedies.
Today I celebrate that God will walk with me every step of the way through 2018. And I will give Him all the glory for every way I become more like Him and grow in trusting Him.
“Oh Lord” by Lauren Daigle