Each year is another year of God’s instruction. In the tests and trials, in the ups and downs, in the joys and hardships, the Spirit of God is constantly teaching us. If you ever find yourself wondering, “What could God possibly be doing in this season?” the answer is, He’s always teaching you something.
One of the most important rhythms we must develop then is reflection. As I reflect on 2012, I’m reminded of the lessons God taught and continues teaching me.
I’m a planner. I like to have a sense of where I’m headed and how I’ll get there. I believe this aids me well as a leader, while also posing potential problems for me as a follower of Jesus. 2012 was a year of God teaching me to submit to His plan even when it proved different than my own.
My Strength Is Limited
I spent the first half of the year largely operating according to my own strength. By the time summer hit I was weary. Not just tired. Not just worn out. Weary. My soul was depleted due to my proud and sinful belief I could do what only God was meant to do. This lesson also came with a reminder that God is gracious and faithful to grant us healing, rest, and rejuvenation when we repent and rely on Him.
Everybody Has To Play Their Role
God has granted each Christian at least one spiritual gift for the purpose of building up the church. When I don’t play my role, it puts pressure on others to do what God has equipped and called me to do. This damages others and deprives me of the joy of serving Christ in the way He’s called me to.
What Got Us Here Won’t Get Us There
The way I parented Ava when she was two is different now that she’s four. The way I pastored Redemption when she was forty people is different then the way I must pastor her now that she’s over two hundred people. As I look to this next season of life and ministry, I’m reminded that many of the things that got us to where we are will not take us into the next season.
Having Three Kids Is Harder Than Two
The entire time Tami was pregnant people with three kids told us one of two things: Either, having a third child was cake compared to the jump from one to two, OR adding a third child was the most difficult adjustment thus far. Now having three kids for the past two months, I’ve concluded that those who told us it would be an easy adjustment were cold-blooded liars...ok, maybe not liars, but “easy” is not how I would describe the adjustment. It’s been an abundant blessing, but it’s an entirely new world of learning to play zone defense because man to man no longer works.
As I sit here at the start of a new year, I do so with a sense of anticipation, wondering what the Lord will teach me. This year will have ups and downs and things will happen that I won’t understand. Through it all, I’m confident that God’s goal is always to teach me to love and trust Him more.