Parting Words Of 2018

During the close of 2018, my husband and I reflected on life together, what we envisioned it would be at this point, as well as the shared ups and downs, joys and heartaches that we could not have imagined. The emotions that come with this time of year are familiar, including gratefulness, wonder, and excitement; but they also include regret, disappointment, and trepidation as we stand on the brink of a new year. As I feel the mix of those emotions so keenly, I am reminded of the promises found in Revelation 21:3-5:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

What do these “trustworthy and true” words mean when we are smack in the middle of a whirlwind of emotions, facing loss, challenge, change…things outside of our control. Here is what it means for me, and I hope and pray it will be an encouragement to you.

First, God is dwelling with us. The word dwell means to live, to stay, to abide. Do you ever find yourself longing for someone to do life with you, to stay with you, to abide with you? He is dwelling with us. And God is not just dwelling with us; we are His people, and He is our God. Our God is with us and taking away our sorrows, fears, regrets, pains.

Second, God is on the throne and still at work. He is still at work creating. And He is still at work creating beauty and making all things new. Why? Because the beauty He is creating now is a different kind of beauty, one that began after brokenness, hardship, and suffering became real in our world. It is the beauty found in redemption, and He is redeeming this world and all that it is in it.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Fear not, for I am with you; Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”Isaiah 43:1, 5, 19

It is trustworthy and true that He is with us, making all things new around us and in us. This is His promise to us. In the midst of the whirlwind of all it may mean to you to face a new year, cling to this promise, this gracious gift.

God’s forever promise is the hope that frees us to live today, so we may not only welcome the new, but also truly celebrate it.