We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it… 2 Corinthians 1:8
Each Christmas, my husband and I search the city over, in pursuit of an ornament that best represents the last year of our lives.
Our Christmas tree tells ‘our story’, displaying the likes of seashells from tropical getaways, an antique bassinet in soft hue’s of pink, and an ornament in the shape of a Chinese takeout box symbolizing our first year of our marriage (and more specifically, the frequent calls made to Choi’s Chinese Food, thanks to my many failed attempts at making dinner each night!)
…and then there is a margarita glass.
One margarita-shaped ornament, that represents to us one of the most difficult years we endured. A year marked with heartbreaking tragedy, of death, of malicious lies, and cold-hearted betrayals… and the need for counseling and the occasional STRONG margarita!
I can still remember to my shock and bewilderment, when that same year was publicly declared as the “BEST. YEAR. EVER!!!” by all of my Facebook friends…
The very year that had left me broken!
New Years Eve was a blur, as I struggled to hold back tears as the ball dropped, and while all of my closest friends cheered and embraced each other somewhere in the background. I can remember struggling to pinpoint whether the tears were welling because I was so relieved to see that year pass… or because deep within, I knew that I would not be able to withstand another year of the same devastating magnitude….
Even more, fearing that I would have to!
But when it comes to sheer magnitude, it is In Isaiah 43:16, that the Lord reminds us that He did the impossible and made an escape for His people through the expanse of the Red Sea! By doing so, He reminds us also, that no matter the magnitude of the trials we are up against this year, that He has got it covered! (After all, the Red Sea was a HUGE problem for the Israelites! Roughly 1400 miles long, 220 miles wide, and 1600 feet deep if you want to be exact!)
But God doesn’t stop there! He goes on to say this…
” Forget all that – It is NOTHING compared to what I am going to do! For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland… so my people can be refreshed.”
Carving a pathway through the Red Sea, is arguably, one of the greatest things God has ever done! And yet, He is saying, “that is NOTHING compared to what I can do in your life!”
But just over a year ago, with a bout of rejection under my belt, a tragedy that had me gritting my teeth and bracing for what was next, and feeling emotionally ‘pushed to the limit’ just by having to get out of bed each morning, and paint on the fake smile needed to appease everyone around me, I can recall struggling to believe that I too, was worthy of this level of blessing in my life!
But as I packed up the last of the Christmas decorations this last week; reminiscing about the significance of each year’s ornament, and tucking each one safely away in its place, I came to my beloved margarita glass. And I smiled…
Because what I had failed to see the very first time I nestled my new ornament into the glow of our Christmas tree just a year ago, was that in that very moment, God was working to do something ‘new’ in my life! That the piece of glass hanging from the branch in the shape of an alcoholic beverage – which once, only humorously symbolized the turbulence of the previous year – now serves as a constant reminder of the overwhelming blessings we could have never known He had in store for us in the year to come!
I imagine God must have snickered to himself, when I asked Him with bated breath, to merely ‘survive’ that next year, knowing that in the very moment I made my request, that He was already beautifully orchestrating – not only the provision of all my needs – but outlining a journey that would make some of our greatest dreams as a family come to fruition!
Since then, He has traded what was left of my hollow existence, with a life overflowing with excitement! He has restored my family… my heart… and my laughter…. and replaced my broken spirit with a strength that I never knew resided within me!
I love how Beth Moore puts it when she says, “If Jesus gives us a task or assigns us to a difficult season, every ounce of our experience is meant for our instruction and completion, if only we’ll let Him finish the work. I fear, however, that we are so attention deficit that we settle for bearable when beauty is just around the corner!”
No matter how badly broken 2013 has left you, our God is a god who seeks to refresh. And He is not finished! He promises to make a pathway through the lifeless deserts you may have found yourself in, and provide a way out of the most trying circumstances you are up against. No matter the depth, He will be our guide through the raging sea that is currently standing in the way of the life we most desire.
And The Lord will do something ‘new’ in our lives…
Something more miraculous than anything He has ever done before!
We need only to take a look around, and wait expectantly for the beauty of it to unfold!
We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it… but as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to only rely on God…we have placed our confidence in Him and He will continue to rescue us.
2 Corinthians 1:8-10