So…..it’s my first post of the new year. Thank God 2011 is over! It was a hard year, for many reasons. And, I know I’m not alone in that sentiment. Too many of my Facebook friends were also telling the year “good riddance” for me to think that I was the only one who had a bad year. Sickness, surgery, death, financial problems, relationship issues….the list goes on. But, despite the perfectly rotten year, I was also amazingly blessed and learned some valuable things. I thought I’d share a few of my lessons with you. They probably aren’t new to you…many weren’t to me either….but maybe we just all need a reminder. Feel free to add your lessons, too!
1. Things don’t matter. People matter. And you never know how long you’re going to have the people you love, so love them well. Life’s circumstances have a way of separating us from loved ones, so we should make the most of every moment. (I can’t come up with only one scripture for this…so many apply. But, I think we all know it without me proving it!)
2. This one goes with #1….you never know how long you’ll have, so say it, do it. Take the vacation. Meet the challenge. Clear the air. Apologize. Forgive. Step up and step out to do what God’s called you to do. Say “I love you”….a lot! (Psalm 39:3-5)
3. With God, all things really are possible. I know…..it says so in the Bible, but sometimes you’ve just got to experience it yourself to really know. Cling to Him, He’s got this. (Mark 10:27)
4. Life sucks. Seriously. Ha….I know that’s not uplifting, but it’s true. And the Bible says it too. No…maybe Peter didn’t word it that way. Trial, ordeal, difficulty….I think those are more “Biblical” words. But, it’s what he meant. (1 Peter 4:12) Note that he said when these things happen, not if.
5. Life has two choices. God or satan. Life or death. Good or evil. It sounds so simple, yet we twist it, change it, contort it to suit our own purposes. But, it boils down to this: if you’re not serving God, you’re serving satan…even if you don’t call it that. (Deuteronomy 30:18-20)
6. Things are not always what they seem. There’s a quote that says something like “we don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” Just because you think a situation is hopeless doesn’t mean God’s not working. Trust Him. He really does know what He’s doing. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
7. Nothing we do is pointless. If God called us to it and we do it, He’s going to use it somehow, someway. But, here’s the really cool thing….if we don’t do what we’re supposed to (or if we do what we’re not supposed to), God uses that too! I’m not saying run around and do what you want to. What I’m saying is that if you are trying to please Him and misstep, God’s going to work it out for the good. (Romans 8:28).
Seven seems like a good number, so I’ll stop there. As I read back over them though, I’m struck by the fact that it all boils down to two things: Love God. Love each other. The rest will take care of itself. (If you want scripture references, go to Biblegateway.com and search “love the Lord.” You’ll find a lot!) Oh….and by the way….love isn’t a feeling. Love is an action. Love is putting aside your own thoughts, feelings, needs, wants to tend to someone else.
So, just like I said, nothing new here. But, the Bible says that too, doesn’t it? That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 NASB. I pray that 2012 will be wonderful for each and every one of you. That the end of the year will find us healthier, wealthier, friendlier….and closer to the One Who matters.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!