Happy New Year -
Ah, my friends. Happy New Year! 2013!
So exciting and full of promise and hope, and yet...and yet. It is so hard to journey into another year with the last year weighing down so heavy.
If you are like me, you wanted to curl up into a ball and sob and say "No more for me!", before another year began. And you probably wanted to do that more than once, but stuffed it down inside.
If you are like me, you are wondering how you will survive another year, since last year you went into this year so very ready to take on the world, and then you were crushed by its overwhelming events. And you are wondering if this year was so terrible, that even if the next year is anything like it, you might not make it. Or you might not be yourself ever again. Or you might never hope for happy new years.
Tonight I stared in wonder at the clear night sky filled with brilliant stars and planets. I remembered the glorious sunset a few hours before, and I heard the pops of fireworks going up, the boom and echoes. I watched twinkling Christmas lights, and was saddened that another Christmas was over, and a January had begun.
And it hurts so very much to look back on this year, even though there were beautiful, precious joys, that is not what stays in the front of my mind. And maybe it's not what is in the front of yours either. What is there is the gasping of a heart that won't beat when it has been broken, when your dreams are shattered as you stand and watch your loved one lowered into a grave, and when you have begged God with all that is in you for something, and He says no. When you have known terrible grief and pain.
I know. Because I attended funerals with you, and I cried with you, and I prayed for you.
And looking forward hurts because they aren't there with us, and that is sad. I found this article a few days ago, and I was so thankful that I did. It reminded me of why we have HOPE always for the new year. And it is because we know that He is faithful, and that He is always TRUE, and He is GOD.
It was just what I needed then, and it is just what I need tonight. I pray you will be blessed as well!
I am the road-weary traveler who is overwhelmed by this wearisome valley.
I am the desolate and the weary one. I am the poor in spirit and wounded soul.
I am in desperate need of God and His grace, and feel the inability of my own self.
I am in mourning, and journey on under the cloak of sorrow.
I long for holiness and righteousness instead of sin and shame.
I'm awaiting shining Light of glory instead of this shuttered darkness, this veiled land.
I can't wait to walk through the door of my true Home, and live there forever with Him.
I long to SEE His face, and be unashamed; to never be longing for anything ever again.
I am awaiting the "soon" and the "all things new" and the "now" in this land of "not yet".
One year closer, my dear friends. One year closer to Heaven and forever! Praise God!
The sweetness of this life is knowing that He walks it with us, and He is "making all things new". We are not alone! He gives us grace and mercies to make it through each year, to find Him in the deepest valleys and highest mountains, and to rejoice that He is enough in it all. He is more than enough.
With much love from this longing, hope-filled, weary, Heavenward-bound heart to yours,
~ Jean Marie ~
Photo taken June 24, 2012.
Photo taken June 24, 2012.
"When the Perfect Comes" by Jon Bloom, from Desiring God.org.
"...when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away" (I Corinthians 13:10)
Another year is passing away. Thank God. Not only for the massive amounts of unquantifiable grace we have received from Him, but also because we are one year closer to the passing away of this partial age and all of its incumbent sorrow and weariness.
"When the perfect comes." Those inspired words stir up deep longings for a time we have never known and yet desperately want.
Paul may have been talking about spiritual gifts when he used that phrase in 1 Corinthians 13, but we know because of Romans 8 that "the partial" means so much more. Right now even the best things are not what they should be. And so much goes so very wrong. In this partial age, our bodies, our loved ones, our careers, our creations, our investments, and our plans are all subject to the forces of futility (Romans 8:20). This age is marked more by suffering(8:18), longing(8:19), groaning(8:23), and hope(8:24) than by fulfillment.
So at year's end, especially if what we feel at its passing is another disappointment, we must remind each other that that partial, this age that is all that we've ever known, is passing away and the perfect is coming.
To all you road-weary travelers who have found that the way that leads to life (Matthew 7:14) is harder than you ever imagined, the perfect day of rest is coming (Matthew 11:28).
To all you who find yourself at the end of this year poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3), humbled, desolate, and in desperate need of what only God can provide, the perfect day of the all-abundant kingdom is coming.
To all you who are mourning the loss of a precious one (Matthew 5:4) and finding it hard to press on under the heavy cloak of sorrow, the perfect day of death's death (1 Cor. 15:26) is coming.
To all of you whoa re growing tired in the relentless struggle to hold back the flood of unrighteousness, both from within and without, and who long deeply for a time when all is made right (Matthew 5:6), the perfect day of your satisfaction is coming.
To all of you who have been injured by the maliciousness of another and have responded with a tear-filled mercy (Matthew 5:7), the perfect day of restoration is coming.
To all of you whose soft heart (Matthew 5:8) is tormented over the sin-hardened, sin-infected world around you, the perfectly pure day is coming when you will see what your soul most longs for.
To all of you peacemakers who are blessed of God (Matthew 5:9) and yet find this blessed work heartbreaking, misunderstood, and under appreciated, the perfect day of reconciliation is coming.
To all of you who find yourselves in a disorienting darkness that feels unbearable and wonder if God has abandoned you (Psalm 88:14), the perfect days is coming when the Light, in whom there is no darkness (1 John 1:5) will shine upon you (Numbers 6:25).
And to all of you who increasingly love and long for Jesus' appearing (2 Timothy 4:8), who have an inconsolable homesickness for a country far better than any that exists here (Hebrews 11:16), your perfect home, a home prepared especially for you (John 14:2), is coming.
When the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. The promised "soon" (Revelations 22:20) is getting sooner. Let us keep encouraging one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Let us hold fast to the hope set before us (Hebrews 6:18). And let us press on to know the Lord (Hosea 6:3).
And may the Lord cause these words to come true: next year in Jerusalem!"