2012 was a rough year for me. Ok, it was the hardest year of my life. So I want to look ahead at 2013 and hope that it is better, want it to be better, want it to not be difficult. Yet as I think and hope I'm stopped by the thought that I'm not in control of my life. I didn't choose the events of 2012 and I don't get to choose what happens in 2013. In 2012 I was an adopted child of the King of Kings and in 2013 that is who I will be. In 2012 I was a redeemed sinner in desperate need of God's grace and nothing has changed on that front. I belong to God, I have been bought with a price, and what He chooses for my life is not for me to decide.
I would not have chosen to have daily headaches for a year straight. I would not have chosen daily fatigue. I would not have chosen to lose my first son before he was born. These were very difficult things that made 2012 a hard year and I'm trying to be thankful for them and yet it is difficult to find something to be thankful for in them. I'm thankful for the amazing friends we have that showed us love and support. I'm thankful for God's grace to make it through each day. I'm thankful for the good news of the gospel that lifted my eyes up to see God's mercy in the midst of pain and uncertainty. I'm thankful for God's unfailing provision in my life. I'm thankful for my wife and that our marriage stayed strong. There is much to be thankful for in 2012 but I'm still learning, or seeking to make sense of what I'm to be thankful for in the painful things.
God does not promise that everything will be happy and pain free. He promises to conform me into the image of His son that I may be satisfied by the only thing that truly satisfies. I often want God to do that by giving me good things, happy things, things that cause my heart to soar, my soul to sing. I want to see sunsets in which his glory is displayed to all of creation. I want to see lives transformed by his grace. I want to abound and overflow in generosity to others. I want to see the goodness of God in the land and know that He is good and He is the only thing that matters in life. I want that to be what happens in 2013 but if God has other plans who am I to say what is best?