Reflections On The Year That Was

It’s January 2006. For most people, it’s a time to write down some new resolutions. For some, on the other hand, it’s the opportunity to review last year’s goals and resolutions, revise those that no longer fit, and improve on those that have not been faithfully followed.

For me, I cannot help but reflect on the events of the past year and how they have affected or changed me. It is also inevitable that last year’s experiences will affect this year’s, hopefully in a positive way.

Year 2005 was a difficult year for my husband and me. We rode on quite a number of emotional roller coasters that, many times, left us drained, off balance and gasping for breath. Many times we felt like we were sinking into a financial abyss, where there were no safety nets or handles to grab onto. Hope was unsteady and seemed to come and go like the mist over the sea.

An empty fridge and pantry became a regular site, and missing a meal or two ceased to be a strange occurrence. Disillusionment in the church and workplace developed and truly tested our faith in, love for and obedience to God. Disappointment in people and betrayals from friends and fellow Christians weighed heavily upon our hearts. Christ’s promises seemed to blur in the midst of very trying and emotionally pain-filled experiences.

Our dire circumstances behooved us to get on our knees more and fix our eyes on Jesus. After all, people let us down, situations let us down, and even our own snail-paced growth let us down. And yes, we encountered that bump in the ceiling where our tear-filled prayers seemed to endlessly and hopelessly collect.

If there was anything I learned from all the pain and troubles of the past year, it is this: God answers our prayers according to His perfect will.

I prayed for faith – He gave me challenges to test and grow His faith in me.

I prayed for a deeper knowledge of Him – He gave me pain to see people, things and circumstances through His love-filled eyes.

I prayed for thirst for Him and His word – He gave me desolation to bring me to my knees and desire Him over anything and anyone.

I prayed for utter dependence on Him – He took away all forms of security to teach me to pray for my needs and trust that He will provide.

I prayed for courage – He allowed my fears to surface to lead my wavering heart to Jesus.

I prayed for more of His revelation in my life – He gave me an inner ache to direct my heart and soul to the Holy Spirit and open myself to His loving and powerful enlightenment, as well as visions of His everlasting kingdom.

When my husband and I reflected on what one thing we would ask God for in this life, if there was only one prayer He would grant us, we both knew in our hearts that we would ask for more of Jesus and less of us in our lives. We are nothing if not servants of the Most High God, and He is most gracious and merciful to call us His children and heirs of His kingdom.

We both realized that despite our often times desperate financial situation, we would rather have Jesus than material wealth. We can take physical hunger but will be utterly desolate without Christ’s spiritual nourishment in our lives. We will go where the Father leads us, even if it will mean a lot of physical, financial and emotional sacrifice. Because if there is anything we are certain of, it is God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. God WAS, IS and always WILL BE!

My husband and I don’t have it all together yet – perhaps we never will in this lifetime. But 2006 suddenly doesn’t look so daunting. God has prepared us for this year, and will continue to do so in the years to come. And even when we find ourselves ill-equipped, Christ is more than able and certainly more than enough to pull us through life’s hurdles.

Jesus Christ is more than enough – He is everything! Let us throw away everything that hinders us (superficial faith, self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, etc.) and fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. It’s 2006. Isn’t it about time?