The last two weeks of 2015 have been eventful: three bouts of the stomach flu, three trips to the car garage (a forth to come), a trip to the emergency room for Jack, a rotting animal (with an amazing stench) under the room we were assigned for our student New Year’s conference. So here we are, 3 P.M. on New Years Eve and Dave, Jack and I are still in our pjs with piles of laundry and a barf bucket in reach. (Chloe and Lexie managed to get dressed this morning : )). Um, and I need a shower.
BUT, we can still say at the end of this year, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 118.1). Our good friend and national campus director, Joe, said the other day that in their family they have a tradition of saying this verse after dinner. “Sometimes a good meal, sometimes a bad meal but we still say it…” We can say God is good and his loves endures forever because they don’t depend on our circumstances. His goodness is expressed most in reconciling us to himself through Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. So whether our Christmas or year was stellar or disappointing we can still say, “thanks.”
If you could be a fly on the wall of our stinky room in the conference center or of our living room as Jack starting puking last night, you’d know my first instinct wasn’t to say, “blessed be His name in all circumstances.” In the depths of my heart, it is a truth that keeps me grounded, but in the moment I respond big. Acknowledgement goes a long way for me. I want someone to look me in the eye and say, “yeah, this is just getting crazier and crazier. Can you believe it?!”But the trick is to still genuinely be able to say, “Thanks God. You are good and your love endures forever.” This next year I’d like to grow in this area … I want to laugh with the Lord and listen more for Him in the crazy.
Another thing that has helped me keep perspective is knowing that others are suffering in ways that won’t be fixed by selling a car or a quick trip to the emergency room. Yeah; that gives me perspective.
I raise my glass (of orange juice) and with tears brimming I say to You, oh Lord, “You are good. Thank You for all that 2015 has been and that You have allowed me to walk through it with You. And as the French say, “chin, chin!'”