Regardless of the calendar year, please keep living

I’ve read that ‘in the beginning, God created’ and I believe without any doubt he did. The earth was formless, full of void. Darkness blanketed the deep. But “God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light.” A beginning to what was once empty.

With the new year approaching, I am thankful for beginnings like that. Beginnings in which God speaks, “Let there be.” Beginnings in which the morning light rises to remind that He continues to speak and teach and be.

As a people, though, it’s safe to say we are not always quick to listen and learn and live in that being. Because simply put, life gets fast and busy and messy.

Something always needs to be done.

Someone always needs to be undone.

And someday days just need to be redone.

For those reasons, grace is such a gift. It’s one of the greatest lights we have been given. It allows us room to breathe when we are running fast and it lifts our backpacked-burdens when we live in the messy. Grace gets us through our worst days and our most difficult years.

Social media has gone wild with the realities of 2016. And I must admit, I have chuckled at most memes and shaken my head at blogs who are very clear that this year has been…wait for it…The. Worst. Year. Ever.

I’m not sure it’s fair to blame the year (those poor digits), nor do I believe we can label it as ‘the worst year’. Darkness will always seem to blanket the deep if that’s where your focus is. But when you dive down more, you’ll see God blankets deeper. And that’s the hope I enter into 2017 with. With the truth that God is light and God will always be light. With the treasure that Jesus is the light of the world and therefore, darkness has no dominion over the world.

For some who are reading this, it has been a tough year for you. Life turned to death. Marriage to divorce. Friend to stranger. Health to sickness. Job to unemployed. And no amount of prayer or apologies could ever change some of it. But please keep living. Keep seeing the good in people. Keep choosing to see the light because it is there.

A year ago I dreaded entering into the new year; fearing and seeming so small. When the clock struck midnight I was standing outside staring up at a dark sky searching for answers. Seeking to be made whole and needing grace.

God met me. God met me and said, “Let there be.”

Then Jesus just seemed so big.

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Yes, 2016 has been a different kind of year. There have been new and wonderful and scary things, yet every year is a different kind of year filled with new and wonderful and scary things. But still, regardless of the calendar year, Jesus is so big and beginnings are not all that bad. Let there be tremendous hope in that.

For beginnings give hope to mistakes and pain and life. They heal endings in unexplainable ways and open doors for friendship. They break down walls and allow room for love.

Beginnings give birth to a baby in a manger. They turn water into wine. They heal the lame and the blind and the sick. They turn confusion into peace and death into life. And beginnings have a way of resurrecting who we were and are created to be, even in moments and years that seem to be the worst.

I wish you all a year full of beginnings like that. Beginnings that resurrect. Beginnings in which you are overwhelmed by love and filled with grace. Beginnings in which you learn more about yourself and adventure with all that is new. Beginnings in which you are made to laugh until your belly hurts. Beginnings in which the Lord speaks light to what is dark.

May this year be one filled with the words, “Let there be…”

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