Even the Exceptional

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

“2019 really was an excellent year,” I remarked while talking about events that took place that blessed year.

My husband completed two half Iron Man races, and his clinical practice was hugely successful. Our kids were doing well in school and finding extracurricular activities that suited their giftings and talents. Our house was a home, and it was open to many different people— through dinners, Bible studies, and anyone who needed a place where they felt welcome.

We went to Hawaii that year— my husband and I. We walked the beautiful beaches and reflected on how sweet our marriage of almost ten years had been, and hoped for future years to be just as precious. The news of baby number five came in 2019, and every member of our little family was thrilled.

That year was full of grace and tremendous gratitude. Though some gifts were superficial, we welcomed them, knowing that even the smallest joys were from our Heavenly Father. Other gifts of grace that year came in the quiet, in the growing of absolute surrender and obedience to a faithful God.

That year was full of grace and tremendous gratitude.

It was an exceptional year for our family. Yet, I know that it’s likely to have been the worst year for many.

I paused after my remark, tears beginning to blur my vision. “We had no idea what was coming.”

2020 wouldn’t resemble the year prior at all. The pain, grief, and loss just a few months shy of one of our greatest years still shocks me. The unexpected loss of our two-year-old daughter turned our lives upside down in the worst way possible. Nothing looked familiar, and everything felt excruciating. Trips to Hawaii felt pathetic, and business success seemed trivial. I was no longer hosting dinners but receiving gift cards from strangers who sympathized with our family.

Yet, we still had hope. We have hope because we serve a God of redemption. We have a God that works all things for good for those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) We serve a good God who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17). We have a God who we trust to make all things new. (Rev. 21:5).

If I didn’t believe that one day God would wipe every tear away and that death itself would be no more (Rev. 21:4), I don’t think I could get out of bed every day.

Just imagine.

My tears fell a little faster as a contented smile crossed my face. “Imagine. If God will make even the greatest years new. If He will redeem even the things that didn’t seem so broken, just imagine what He will do with the most devastating and grief-stricken places of our lives.”

Perhaps you’re having your best year or barely making it through one of the worst. There is hope found in Jesus. The one who ordains your days is faithful and kind. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift, and He is well acquainted with grief and will not abandon you. He is the creator of life and the victor over death. No matter how joyful or harsh your days may be, have hope, knowing He holds them in His almighty hand.

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