Political tension. Tragic and unexpected deaths. Personal struggles. I’ve seen plenty of 2016 hate all through this year. It didn’t treat me so well, either, what with nine months of it spent overcoming an ugly infection, paired with the day in, day out disappointments of life. I even spent Christmas Eve and Day sick as a dog. Thanks for that last malicious snipe, germs.
Sometimes tragedy comes unexpected; sometimes we dig our own graves. My near year-long sickness was possibly brought on by a bad diet and mistaken treatments. It wasn’t something I could have known, but a fallen world rarely cares for such accidental oversight. It also rarely cares for how our hearts break at loss or failure or any other disappointment.
But if anything, this year has taught me God can work even in those graves, willing life from our Lazarus circumstances. If I’d never gone through the damage of this year, I wouldn’t have known the extent of love my friends and family have for me – what they’re willing to do when I hurt. I fostered closer bonds and learned to trust others deeper than I ever have before.
And if I hadn’t experienced loss, I wouldn’t have realized so fully what a gift all of life is. Nothing I have and nothing I’m given is a guarantee. “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away,” as Job so concisely puts it (Job 1:21). I spent so long agonizing over the blessings I thought I should have, I didn’t realize the overabundance of gifts God had already bestowed. Perhaps more commonly than not, we don’t even see what we’ve been given is a blessing.
So much good came from this year, too. I started my blog. I found a community of Christ-minded geeks who demonstrated our passions CAN be used for God’s glory. I made friends through that community and found people of common interests. They were small joys in the midst of pain and confusion, but enough to show me God’s goodness and purpose through trials. Plus, you have to figure if the devil’s not pushing your buttons, you must not be worrying him enough.
So bring on 2017, good or ill that comes of it. In the end, God is supreme, and He knows my needs. I’ll make it my new year’s resolution to seek out the hidden blessings He has in store.
What are your resolutions for the upcoming year?