As we look toward the new year, what lessons have we learned?
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
For some reason, the older we get, the faster the years go by. This past year is no
exception. Part of me is excited just to have survived it. God took me through some things I hope I never have to endure again and I’m sure many of you feel the same way. The good news for me is that I am spiritually stronger because of each trial and I hope it’s true for you also. I have been able to see and feel God working to transform and perfect me. I can see a pattern developing. Nothing has been by accident. It’s all connected.
Since we all want to learn from our experiences, we would benefit from taking a brief look back and honestly assessing how we have responded to what happened to us in 2013. Have we recognized the hand of God and accepted it, or have we fought against it, blaming others for our trials and complaining that we didn’t deserve what happened?
Hopefully, we all have learned that victory comes through enduring, not avoiding. True peace comes in the midst of trials, not when everything is going our way.
We would also benefit by determining what lessons we learned in 2013 that can carry into the coming year. If any of you would take the time, I’d really like to know which article or idea from my posts this past year had the greatest impact on you.
AS I SEE IT
For me personally, I think the revelation regarding the Book of Truth may take first place. While the world seems to be coming unglued, the existence of this book confirms that all is well from God’s perspective. He is sovereign over everything and He doesn’t want His children to be shaken by anything. Everything that will happen is already recorded in this heavenly book. He wants us to know that He isn’t sitting in His heavenly rocking chair watching things unfold. He is a living God who desires to have an intimate relationship with His children and to transform us so that we can courageously face anything the world throws at us.
He didn’t save us just so that we could be with Him in heaven. Our salvation was to be the first step on the path that would transform us into mighty and valiant warriors, strengthened with power in our inner man, full of the Holy Spirit and overflowing with joy. Victory comes through training, and training involves pain and suffering. That’s just the way it is, but there is a purpose to it all for those who are His.
So let’s not dwell on the past. What’s done is done. Hopefully, the results have been positive for us all. The future may seem uncertain to us, but it isn’t for God. It’s all in the book, so there’s no need to worry about it. Our mission is to become all that God wants us to be, focusing our eyes on the prize at the finish line-Jesus Christ. Let’s adopt the attitude of the apostle Paul:
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14).
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts.
However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws. By analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car.
MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills. The Ornithological Behaviorist very quickly concluded the cause: When crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could call “Cah”, not a single one could call “Truck.”
A special year-end thanks to my good friend, Phil Grubb, who makes sure I never run out of truly significant material such as this.