2013 was an interesting year. For my little family, it brought some of the highest highs. For me personally, it definitely brought some of the lowest of lows as well. There was far too much death for me in 2013, both the physical kind of death where you lose someone before you are ready and also the kind of death where you are forced to come to terms with other losses, heartbreaks and imperfections. The permanence of death is always a little jarring. Even if you have the opportunity to prepare for it, when it finally hits, the foreverness of death seems to blow in like a hurricane. Whether its the loss of human life or a relationship or a career, the permanence is where the rubber meets the road. But before I get lost in my own macabre, I should move on to the point of this post, which is redemption!
As you know from my previous post, I take New Year’s resolutions very seriously. And so as I surveyed the past year and all of its ups and downs, I decided that no matter what I would make my very best efforts to make 2014 carry quite a different tune. I have declared 2014 to be a year of redemption. I have identified 5 areas of my life that felt the kiss of death last year and I have made it my New Year’s resolution to ask God consistently to bring redemption into them. Each day, Monday thru Friday, has been assigned a topic and each week I cycle through them, asking God to bring life out of death. Now just to be clear, I have no false belief that any of these topics will be resolved or redeemed in the exact way I see fit. In fact, I am fairly certain this year will be one of mystery and discovery for me as God brings redemption in the exact way He sees fit. I anticipate a year of struggle and a year of me throwing quite a few spiritual hissy fits (maybe even some physical ones). Even in this first month God has reopened some old wounds in an attempt to throw out the dingy band-aid I used years ago and to allow some permanent healing to occur. But what I am confident in, without a shadow of a doubt, is that God brings life. I know that a year from now as I am looking back on 2014, some sort of life will have emerged from these deaths. It may only be a small green bud poking out of the winter ground, but life always wins.
I’m sure 2014 will be full of its own challenges and heartbreaks, for sure. We live in a sinful world and there’s no navigating around that. But, I guess what I am really wondering is if I can choose life over death in my every day life? I am asking God for the faith to believe that His end game for us has always been life and that even when all we are left with is a pile of ash, He brings life…We just have to look for it.
So this is my great experiment of 2014. Can I find life in what I have accepted to be dead?