It’s that time again. Every tabloid, television special, and post on the internet wants to take a look back at 2013. They want to announce their list of the “best” and “worst.” We are bombarded with images, thoughts and opinions on what we were supposed to love and hate in the past year.
I look back at 2013, and in all honesty, it is not twerking or Duck Dynasty that affected me the most. I did not “like” the last year and that had nothing to do with pop culture. This was a painful year for me of stretching and trials. 2013 was a year when I “chose” Jesus more than I “felt” Him. Still, I had a mentor who gave me some really good advice long ago. She told me to ask the Lord in every situation, “Lord what are you teaching me?” So before I run into the coming year I must look back and reminisce about the lessons I have learned.
Here are my top three:
1. Jesus Wants & Requires My Obedience:
Faithfulness. That’s it. Every day He longs that I will choose Him again. This year I have had a some friends and acquaintances who made the decision that following Christ costs too much. In my own life I have realized this year that it “costs” everything that has the word me or mine involved in it. More than anything I can “do” for Him, He just wants me to be His. Everything else is secondary.
2. My ideas of success are different than God’s:
I wanted to climb the “ministry” ladder. I thought it would include notoriety and value. If you had asked me if I thought this, I would have said, “No way, my identity is in Christ, and I only do what I do for Him.” However, in the secret places in my heart I also thought that the “blessings” that came from serving Him might include more Twitter followers. When I show up and am faithful to what He has put right in front of me for today, loving Him most and others second, He calls that “success.”
3. I adore my family & often underestimate them:
I am beyond blessed to have the spouse that I do. He has more integrity than almost anyone else I know. He challenges me to grow closer to the Lord and be spurred on in all I am called to do. My running joke in parenting a college student along with a 6th, a 7th and an 8th grader is that I live with a youth group. I fear they will walk away from the Lord and make poor choices that will wreck their lives. The Lord has made it clear He is working in each of their lives as well. In the midst of difficulty this has also become a year when we seek Him together, and that has made it all worth it. He reminded me that none of these people belong to me, and He will not let them go.
So here we are on the edge of the “new year,” as you look back what did Jesus teach you?