But I've noticed that each year carries a theme that God provides. Like 2007 was a year of major transitions. Like an exodus from old ways of doing things and thinking, to travel into new territory. In 2008 it was a year of adjustments and preparation for entering this new land. Now this year seems to be the year where we settle into new territory, which means that we may have to do a different type of work to get settled.
ExodusIn 2007 my wife and I experienced the death of both of our mothers within a week or so of each other. This was a major change upon each of us in many ways. For example, the structures of our family get-togethers changed radically, and missing that important person from each of our lives has proven to be insurmountable. We also experienced some increasing problems at our church and had to make a decision we didn't want to make to leave. And my wife, who is administrator of her mother's estate had to learn quickly about what that role meant and what it would take to accomplish that role.
In this year, we knew very little about where God was taking us. But we knew we had to walk wherever he was to lead us. It was a time we needed faith, because not everyone can understand what we were experiencing. And we were forced to make decisions at a time when tough decisions ought not be made.
Wandering in the desert.In 2008 we spent the year trying to fulfill our new roles and journeys. We decided that we needed to work intently on our thinking, habits, and in finding a new church. That was our job for the year, including fulfilling obligations to my mother-in-law's estate.
But this year was also a year where God has revealed himself to us in many ways. He provided us with mentoring materials that my wife and I have been using in our discipleship time. We have been able to teach our kids about theology with intention. God provided a buyer for our mother-in-law's home in a difficult housing market. And we are closer to settling on a new church community, that God definitely led us toward.
New horizons.Now we stand on the cusp of a new year and we are ready to make new decisions. We are ready to act in new ways, and our thinking is continually adjusting. We are ready to embark on whatever God has for us to do. But we determined to do all things with wisdom and intention, rather than to simply find comfort and ease.
My prayer for the new year is that we will not be afraid, we will find our comfort in the Lord, and we will be able to use our gifts in service to the Lord for the right reasons.