|This is pretty scary!|
That self-imposed lie was exposed the year I was actually allowed to stay up and see for myself. I think I was 10. I yawned through the whole boring experience.
Growing up in a small quiet Midwest town, far away from Times Square meant New Years Eve was very uneventful. Perhaps someone rang a church bell, or beat on an upside down washtub with a metal spoon, but that was it as far as excitement was concerned.
After our whirlwind Christmas tour, 6 parties in 5 cities crossing 6 states, we purposefully planned some "down time" this New Year's Eve as well. I truly hadn't given 2013 much thought at all. My focus had been directed toward Christmas for many weeks.
I suppose I expected 2013 to be just an extension of 2012. Because we at this house are very interested in national and international events, there just isn't much good to anticipate just because a page is ripped from the calendar. Our nation is in moral, spiritual and financial decline. The savage murder of CT children, cultural depravity, Human Trafficking, child abuse, wars and rumors of wars, etc. the list of man's inhumanity to man is long. It seems that many folks are simply hanging on by a thread, trying to smile, trying to get past this national malaise.
Recently I began to hear a fresh theme on the radio, TV and at several church services. Men and women of depth and thought are trying very hard to lift the spirits of the American people. Perhaps a new calendar would help us all think that a "do over" is possible, that we can begin again and do it right this time.
The NEW YEAR began for me last Sunday morning. Our pastor Tom Gray gave a magnificent message on CONTENTMENT, re-telling the story of the very difficult life of Joseph. Time and time again Joseph's dreams were dashed as he was mis-treated by relatives, his boss, his cell mates, the wife of his new boss, etc. His NEW YEARS EVE magical moment took forever to arrive.
I've heard and taught that story hundreds of times.
BUT, this time was different. He stated, "Joseph was never in control of his own life." Yet, he, "trusted in God's sovereignty."
For many years Joseph had nothing but HOPE. And that was enough! God didn't promise him (or us) things...... but HOPE. Peace does not come from things or circumstances. They bring pleasure, absolutely, and gratitude for God's grace.
But, true peace comes from allowing God to shape our/my spirit IN our condition. Because Joseph relied on God's control, he had purpose for his life right where he was, he was content believing God would provide, he was confidant that God would work it out, someway, somehow, sometime.
Joseph could obey by doing what pleases God AND at the same time, be pleased by what God was doing!
Whew, it was a lot to ponder!
Trusting in the Sovereignty of God, being content, focusing on His leading, remaining confidant that God's goodness will ultimately win, that He will work with what we have and remembering not to be concerned with what we do not have.
And in the midst of all that thinking and pondering, God gave me HOPE! So much hope, I thought my heart would burst from it. It was a total transformation of thinking and feeling!
My Hope is built on nothing less.......
It was a revelation, a new beginning, a supernatural encounter, just as tangible as hanging up a new calendar.
I will face 2013 with HOPE, because even when evil reigns, it is temporary. GOD has the final word. HE will win!
THAT IS VERY EXCITING!