“And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.”
As 2019 wraps up, as the Earth begins to make its final trip around the Sun, as people all over the world scurry to a fro in a capitalistic drive to purchase an overabundance of gifts for people who’s hearts will never be truly satisfied… I sit back and reflect on the year gone by. What a year it has been. If I were to describe it in one word, that word would be “wearisome.” We’re only days away from Christmas, and as I write this, I can say that I am tired and broken. I’ve moved from the city to the coast, changed jobs by buying a cafe, struggled to settle into a church, I’ve changed positions on some big theological ideas, and on top of all that my wife and I separated. It’s been a tough year of change and heartache, and I have as many questions as I have things to be thankful for.
One of the biggest things I’ve been thankful for is my family and friends (cliche I know, but it’s true). Despite what I’ve been going through, everyone has been there for me from the entire spiritual spectrum. From non-believers to conservative Christians, they’ve all loved me, prayed for me and have been there for me as much as possible without any judgement. They’ve born my burdens, watched me cry and have listened. I couldn’t have had better people in my life. It’s times like these that genuinely prove who your friends are and they’ve gone above and beyond. They’ve genuinely fulfilled the golden rule.
However, I’m still left with a lot of questions and mixed feelings.
- Where’s God in all of this?
- Why has this happened to me?
- Isn’t God supposed to do good things for me?
Theologically, I know the answers to all of these.
- God never leaves or forsakes me
- This has happened to conform me to the image of His Son
- God works out all things for good for those who love Him
It doesn’t make it any easier, though. It leaves me doubting my God and my faith. It makes me wonder what is next for 2020 and where I’m supposed to go from here. I want to rebel and fly off the handle, wake up in a strangers bed with a hangover and indulge in the typical hedonistic life the world has on offer. As I write this though, I’m reminded to not escape the pain and trials through meaningless distractions (entertainment, booze and parties… trust me it’s very tempting), instead, to embrace the pain and to grow in wisdom. The wisest of us suffer and learn, they don’t escape. I want to walk through the flame, look back and be assured that God had more profound things in store for me. I want to experience the Spirit and be infused with His great love for others. I want to sing the Gospel and witness the might of His Kingdom.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. – Romans 8:18