Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Exhausted? Relax!! The shopping is finished and most of our expectations were met. Christmas and the frenzy of the Holiday season are over – leaving many of us scrambling to recoup and get refocused. Suddenly in the midst of all of our celebrations, we were launched into 2009 - ready or not.

Do you have resolutions for the New Year? (Does anyone really make them anymore?) Do you remember yours from last year? Better question – does anyone keep them all year? I love getting my scripture for the year. It’s an encouragement rather than something to strive to maintain.

The holidays were great, but the workload didn’t go on vacation – it just piled up for our return. (I think it multiplies when left on its own!) Now it’s time to get caught up and back into some kind of routine and structure – wading through it all – prioritizing as we go. I am not complaining.

I am reminded of how truly BLESSED we are. We have so much – many times more that we could ever consume. We do not have to deal with the severities of life that bring hopelessness and despair. We don’t have to face the atrocities of war – they are far from our thoughts (unless we know someone personally connected – then we get involved). We have all the comforts we could ask for – we feel safe and satisfied.

Does it stop there? No. How sad if it did!! What about those who are in need tonight? What about the ones who have lost their job and don’t know how things will work out? Quoting the scripture, “All things work together for good” doesn’t give them instant peace!

God cares for EACH ONE of us without partiality. Our success, or apparent lack of success, is NOT an indicator of how much He loves us. He blesses us in different ways (not always financially). Whether we are healed, or not, is NOT an indicator of our faith level. He uses the natural AND the supernatural in our lives.

We CAN have peace in the midst of the storm. We CAN glorify and worship God through our difficult circumstances. Life is often unpredictable. Bad things DO happen to good people – serve God anyway. Our obedience is not a guarantee to be exempt from tragedy. We live in a fallen world. You can do everything right and still have to deal with the fallout from unwise choices others have made. Our promise is that God will never desert or forsake us.

Our society loves to be comfortable. We avoid pain – any kind of pain – at all cost. But it is not biblical. We are not promised a “pain-free” life, or a “problem-free” life. We cannot expect to never experience hardships or hurts. God gave us emotions. Some may be unpleasant, but the alternative is to be numb to everything. Not an acceptable option. A life without suffering may seem desirable, but it is sterile. God has made provision for us THROUGH our journey. Whatever we face – He will walk through it with us.

For many, January can be a very depressing time. Christmas is over and now they are overwhelmed by everything – the perfect time for a re-evaluation. What’s really important? What’s a priority and what can wait? Stress, fear, worry, etc, can consume our thoughts and wear us down until we have no strength left to face the day. This is not God’s plan for you. It will kill your joy and leave you depleted.

There’s an old song, “Don’t Worry. Be Happy!” It’s a rather annoying song, but with some elements of truth. Throw off worry and you will be happier!! Easier said than done. God has a better way (as always!!) He says worry is a waste of time. You really can’t change a thing by worrying about it. He says to “Cast your cares on Him” and that the “Joy of the Lord” is to be our STRENGTH. It really DOES work.

Does this puppy look stressed? Not at all. He’s relaxed – sleeping – even oblivious to what’s going on around him. Safe and secure if the road gets rough. Trusting that “the driver” will bring them to their destination. Peacefully enjoying the journey. Maybe we need to try TRUSTING GOD with our circumstances and relaxing IN HIS CARE. Stress levels would go down. Worry and fear would fade away.

Can you give your worries to God? He’s big enough to handle them! He has a better answer than you’ve come up with – one that will actually resolve your situation!! Trust Him. Take the plunge and make this your “New Year’s Resolution” – to TRUST GOD and follow HIS guidance for your life. Try it for yourself. You’ll enjoy the journey. Relaxed and safe in His care.

Selah Y