a. Habakkuk 3:19
In fact, I have survived many, many of THOSE years. There have been years where I have had multiple surgeries and emergency surgeries; years where my husband has lost yet another job; years where one of our parents have died; years where one of the kids was hospitalized... sometimes more than once; years where the one of the children received yet another diagnosis; years where we were having troubles with a specialist and treatment protocols; years where school was absolute hell because staff wouldn't cooperate or bullies were relentless; years where our marriage was barely limping through; years where our siblings have quarreled with and shunned us; years where friends have marched out of our lives; and one year I even went through the immense strife involved with cleaning, repairing, and selling my parents' home. Often times, these types of things have happened in clusters, so one crisis didn't take place by itself alone.
Here's what I have learned through all of THOSE years: The thought that, "It can only get better. We have nowhere to go but up," is dead wrong. It is an expectation straight from the pit of hell. Now I'm not trying to be a Negative Nancy here, just a truth-teller. Things can and often do get worse.
The issue is how we respond. What do you do when things get worse just when you think they can't get any worse?
I used to get angry at God. I felt He owed me for all of the sorrow and strife I had seen in the past. Then I finally READ the Holy Spirit's memo telling me that I deserved nothing but death and hell, but because of Jesus I received hope and life. I suddenly became aware that life's crises in this fallen world gives God the opportunity to put His glory on display through my little life. I am just an average woman who serves a boundlessly awesome Lord. If there's hope for me, there's hope for anyone! This is a dark world, full of trouble, but Jesus reminds me to take heart because he has overcome this world.
Friend, I don't want to squash your hopes for a better year than last. But if this year is once again a rough one or less than you expected, take a look at where you are focusing. Keep all your expectations in HIM! Then at the turn of each calendar year you can look back and say, "Look at what God has seen us through!"
PRAY: Jesus, may all our expectations be in you alone.
~ Barb Dittrich