Well, it is near the end of 2009. It is also my birthday. . . a day that seems to always cause me to reflect on things. (I know. . I'm a huge ball of fun).
This has really been a hard year. I'm going to try and avoid all the "hardest year of my life" hyperbole, although I do feel that way at times. I think, mentally, and emotionally I probably did better this year than some of my college days.
But, the non-whining rundown is. . . we have big money problems. . . we had house problems (I replaced every major appliance in my house this year, save the refrigerator). . . we had extended family problems, . . . marriage was tough this year (Jody is a trooper). . . . I didn't write many songs this year. . . .I got back out of shape. . . . we had a house fire . . . .we had relational struggles with some friends. . . .ok I'll stop.
I'm fighting for joy right now in these things, because I know that God sovereignly ordered all of this into my life this year. He has a purpose in it. I know that to be true more than I know most anything else. And, that's a comfort.
I"m not a "why me" kind of guy. In fact, those close to me are often frustrated by my lack of "why me" and expectations for myself. I"m a "why not me" kind of guy. Why shouldn't I have financial problems? What silver spoon do I have in my mouth that would exclude me from homeowner difficulties? There isn't one. . .and none of us are owed anything or should expect a trouble-free 2010. Matt Chandler's ( a favorite of this blog) recent battle with brain cancer has again helped and reminded me of these truths which are important to keep in front of us.
So, that's not the problem. . I struggle more with "how can we get back to the way it was"--itis, which is probably almost as bad as "why me"--ism :) We can't get back. Life changes and we're forever changed by what God has for us. The good news is, for Christians, this change has a purpose and God is in all of it. The bad news is. . . it's often painful.
So, I"m hopeful again for 2010. I"m not hopeful for a pain-free 2010. I would like it to be a "lighter" year and a year filled with more eustress (stress that moves you forward and leads you to good action and initiative) and less distress (stress that causes my cholesterol to go up, fights to happen in my house, and a cloudy brain).
In fact that might be a big one. . my brain is cloudy these days and my thoughts are quickly distracted or gone. I know, I'm older :) but I need to do better this year at silence and solitude.
Perhaps working on the "out of shape" thing will help there as well.
But, I'm hopeful because God doesn't change and since he didn't withhold his own Son, he will "also with Him graciously give us all things". I know that's true. It was true in this hard year, and it will be true if 2010 is harder.
But, the fight for joy continues, I don't just want to survive 2010, I want to live it more to the Glory of God. . . . Pray for me.