As 2017 comes to an end, I can’t help but marvel as I reflect. This year has been full of adventure and breakthrough, dreams fulfilled, and wondrous opportunity. My heart has been stretched to new depths, and I’ve met the sweetest friends all over the world.
Some days I found myself surrounded by mud walls with kind company, while other days I found myself swimming in oceans with beauty I could have never imagined. I’ve learned to cook for a tribe over a fire and barter to get a fair price. I’ve explored international markets with impressive salesmen and coffee shops on every corner in big cities and small towns. Although there’s beauty all around, this year has not been without its hurdles and hardships. Wheels falling off, engines exploding, lies enslaving, oppression suffocating, and the enemy manipulating, yet faithful God remains. I’ve been in many forms of moving vehicles for significantly more hours than most would dare, but even in those quiet, dark hours in the early mornings and the late nights, the common denominator everywhere I go and in everything I do is the steadfastness of the Lord.
Psalm 57:10 declares, “For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.”
This year was spent diligently pursuing the heart of God for all people. He led us to the homes of the prostituted, widowed, orphaned, demonized, and forgotten. His Word was proclaimed in the face of seemingly hopeless situations. His extravagant thoughts toward His masterpiece were shared in love, and consequently, lives were changed from that day forth and forevermore. The strongholds of the enemy were shattered by the name of Jesus, and captives were freed from insecurity, doubt, fear, and hopelessness.
Repeatedly, I would find myself in situations where I could have justifiably thrown my hands up in the air, saying “what now?” But the constant response of my Father was, “do you trust me?” Taking a sigh of relief and sometimes rolling my eyes, I replied with a resounding yes, continuing with full assurance that God has not abandoned me, He’s not forgotten me, and He will always be faithful.
Therefore, I will do as the psalmist wrote in Psalm 92:1-4, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.”
The Lord has done mighty works this year, so I will remember and sing with joy.
Every moment of this year has been a blessing. Every day has been an adventure. Every smile has been a joy. Every detour has been an opportunity. Every hurt has been growth. Every welcoming has been friendship. And every promise has been good.
For the coming year, I’m expectant for God to continue the work He’s begun. Friendships will grow, expand, and adapt. More lives will be redeemed, healed, restored, and reconciled. And as always, He will prove Himself to be faithful and good.