At the beginning of last year, I was feeling better than I had in a long time. I was looking forward to doing so many things I hadn’t been able to do. I made plans, had dreams. And then about the middle of January, those were all crushed. I progressively got worse and worse. 2018 was one for the books. Hopefully, one I’ll never have to read again.
2019 didn’t bring an air of hope. I tried to be optimistic. But I couldn’t stop that feeling of dread. Social media can be a dangerous place. I don’t know, maybe some people really are hopeful and excited and “sure” that this year is going to be the best yet. But I’m not one of them. And I wonder, did they have such a wonderful year, that nothing can stop them? Or are they just in a much better place spiritually than I am? Is their faith really that big?
Now, that’s a great way to start an encouraging blog post, huh? Hopefully it will get better.
I saw a quote the other day by Elisabeth Elliott that I’ve never seen before:
To pray “Thy will be done”, I must be willing, if the answer requires it, that my will be undone.
That was very convicting to me. Because my will was completely undone last year. But it wasn’t willingly. I fought it the whole way. I wanted God’s will. But this, this isn’t what I wanted.
Yesterday morning I saw another quote “New year, same God”. As I attempted to undecorate my house, I thought about that. I have one of those little felt boards you can put different quotes on. You can get them pretty cheap on Amazon. I love mine. I can put whatever I want on it and change it up as often as I like. As I took off the letters of my Christmas message. “Lord, we want Your presence for Christmas”, and put the new one on, “New year, same God”, I thought of the irony that I was changing up my quotes to fit the season.
We change a lot. Our emotions, our thoughts, our decor, our furniture, our eating habits, our likes and dislikes. The list goes on…..
Why? Does life get boring in its sameness? Do we get tired of looking at things and just want something different?
Sometimes, I think I wish God would change. Now hang on a minute and let me finish. Sometimes, His ways of doing things hurt. I wish He’d answer more quickly or in ways that I could see. I wish sometimes that I could just understand Him!! I wish I could see His reasoning.
But you know what would happen if He changed? Other than the fact that His word and His very person wouldn’t be true, we’d never be able to trust Him. We’d never know if we got our answer because we wanted it right then, or if in His wisdom He gave it to us now. We’d never know if He really was working things for our good or if He just gave in because He got tired of our complaining. We couldn’t trust what we can’t see. We wouldn’t be able to hang on to the truth of His unchangeableness. And in our darkness, in our weakness, that’s what we need. Steady ground. Truth. Consistency. Faithfulness.
We need Him. But we need His unchangeable character even more.
Because we can count on it. We can face another year of uncertainty because we are certain of Him. We can rely on Him to be there, because He always is.
You know the saying, ‘He’s never failed you and He’s not going to start now’? Well you know, in the thick of it, it feels exactly like you’re being failed. You don’t see that you really weren’t until it’s all over. But each time, you realize as you look back, ‘God didn’t fail me.’
And because God never changes, we can look 2019 in the face and say, “He still won’t change. He still won’t fail.”
So we can fill in the blanks. New year, same God. New problem, same God. New fear, same God. New sickness, same God. New WHATEVER, same God. And if you’re coming into this new year with old problems, old fears, old sickness – He’s still the same God. He brought you through 2018, whether you were kicking or screaming, or being carried. You made it. Because…. same God.
I’m not so foolish as to say ‘Bring it on, 2019.’ Because oh boy, can it ever be brought on. But I can, I will boldly hold onto the wonderful truth that God DOESN’T change. And while I may not know what this new year is going to bring, I know I’m not alone. Because He’s still the same.
For I am the , I change not;…
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever.
I’m going to be very open right here. I wrote this song yesterday morning, before my whole day fell apart. I was beginning to feel that hope that this year was really going to be different. I was able to do a few things. I started thinking and planning and, yes dreaming about what all might happen. And about 7:00 that evening, I started feeling worse than I have in a while. And, there went everything. The dreams, the plans, the small flicker of hope. Isn’t that amazing that one set back, caused everything to shatter? Even my husband is scratching his head, wondering why. Why it seems I keep having set backs? And He’s the optimist….
But today, my mind goes back to these words I wrote. And I hear the still, small whisper. Even though I try to push back and ask “Why, though? When? How long? What if…?” It keeps coming to the surface. Unrelenting; gentle, yet sure; hopeful. “I’m still the same.”
Words and music copyright Faith York 2019