Today I start my new year. Putting away the Christmas decorations of the month past. Putting fresh, new sheets on bedding. Washing laundry to make it fresh and clean after a great week of celebrations! Focusing on a new year and what I want to accomplish and change this year. As I contemplate all these things, God gives me the word "new" to focus on.
My day began thinking of my precious cousin, Schawn, who is currently living in a new body with our Savior in Heaven. She is in all new surroundings that would literally blow our minds just thinking of all the new sights and sounds she is experiencing! I have always been fascinated with Heaven and longed for the day I get to see it! I always get a little jealous of those who get to experience it before me. Morbid? No. That's where I'm created to live, so it's natural to feel a longing for it.
The word "new" is used numerous times in the Bible. The verse that resounds in my head today is Lamentations 3:22-23, "The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS; his mercies are NEW every morning." I read a Desiring God commentary that stated God is not "old"; He is. We are not young or old; we are. It is a continuum of time on God's big timeline. Everything that is in existence now is because that is where God has placed it on the timeline to exist for His glory. Daily, He makes all things new because it is existing today for His glory. My cousin, who lost her mom, said she is just taking things "day by day". That's exactly how we are to live. God gives us the grace sufficient for one day. I exist for His glory today. Tomorrow is not promised to me, but if I am blessed with another day, it is a new day. One more day to proclaim the glory of God. One more day in which He will be with me, walking beside me, giving me strength to do the task He has called me to do...today.
I can't stop singing "It is Well With My Soul" today. The history of that great hymn goes something like this. Horatio Spafford was a wealthy man in Chicago who was financially ruined after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. He was moving overseas on business, but had to send his wife and four daughters ahead so he could finish up a business venture. Their ship collided with another sea vessel and sank instantly. His wife was saved alone. Horatio came to get his wife and while grieving the loss of his four daughters, he penned the words to this great hymn. "When peace like a river attendeth my soul. When sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to know. It is well, it is well, with my soul."
The people of the church he attended and where he was an elder, decided that he and his wife must be living in great sin and these events were God's punishment on them, so they cast them from their church. Can you imagine that pain?! After starting a new family with his wife, their four year old son soon died from scarlett fever. Sorrows like sea billows roll is certainly right. But did they turn from God? No. They allowed the great pain in their life to be used by God to bring glory to His Kingdom.
In this new year, I want to use whatever God gives me to bring glory to His Kingdom. I want to live on His great timeline and not try to make it my own. Whatever happens, it is well with my soul.
Evan and I set up a mock recording studio this afternoon to honor my cousin's family and my family during this trying time of grief. My 12 year old is amazing at his computer, so we hope you enjoy this recording session we shared together as I worked through my own grief. It's all I have to offer to you...along with my prayers of comfort. I love you Caudles, Browns, Slacks, Carters, Spanglers, Stuhans, and Williamsons.