If you pay any attention to the news media, in the next several days you will be bombarded with all that has headlined the news for the past year. Each network is doing 2011 recaps. Our local paper has been repeating past national and global news articles each day, as well as local news stories from 2011.
Much of the coverage leaves one feeling discouraged and somewhat hopeless. There is so much that often gets lost in that cacophony! (Okay, I did have to look up the word to make sure that I was using it correctly. Cacophony: 1.A harsh discordance of sound; dissonance. 2. A discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds.)
For those that journal, you have a record of the challenges faced, the emotional roller coasters you’ve endured, and the “ah-ha” moments when God revealed His truth to your soul. If you are not a good journaler, like me, it may take a bit more effort to revisit your personal journey. Let me encourage you to not let any of it go unnoticed or unaccounted!
In this short season of reflection, what stories need to be remembered and revisited? What inner knowledge or personal growth has been attained, and now marks you as a changed person?
I am different than I was a year ago. Of course I am a year older, and I see how my personal appearance reflects that. But the real me, the me on the inside looks different too. There is a good work that God is doing in me. And unless I acknowledge that and proclaim it, it stands to be lost in the cobwebs of time.
For the past year or so I have adopted an abbreviated form of journaling by using spiral bound note cards. When a quote or a scripture verse or principle seems to speak right to me, I write it down. Then after pondering it a bit I add how I am affected by it or offer a prayer of commitment or thanks.
Not surprisingly the theme for much of this past year has been obedience. But as I return to words written a few weeks ago, I can see that God has been teaching me quite a bit about love as well. Just that word: “Love”-- conjures up different thoughts and feelings now than it would have months ago.
Love looks different now than it did to me. Oh, I would have told you a year ago that I love well, that I see & affirm the good in others and easily encourage them to continue on that path that leads to hope and healing. I would have testified to loving all those that God puts in my life. But what He has now suggested to me is that those that have betrayed or rejected me, who have turned against me or worse have turned others against me, those who have sought my demise. . . those I have refused to love. In fact, I have become quite proficient at cutting them out of my life. If I no longer give them access to my life I don’t really have to respond as God calls me to, right? That’s not what God says:
“This is love: not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is perfected in us”. 1 John 4:10
If God lives in me, then His love is perfected in me. Perfect love doesn’t pick and choose who to love. Perfect love isn’t conditional: I’ll love you if you love me back. No, perfect love sees and loves the goodness in each one. Period. I don’t have to worry about how to love those that don’t love me; when the time comes God will show me. All I have to do is be obedient to Him.
This is a time to recognize, revisit and celebrate His goodness in your life. What God has been doing in you, you can count on Him to continue to do.
I don’t know about you, but that gets me excited!
Happy New Year!
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