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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Year End Review

Circumstantially, this has been the worst year of my life. It has been full of the deepest of hurts and the loneliest of times. I have found myself with more unanswered questions than answers. In many ways, the worst hits keep on coming and the questions haunt me. Still, this has been a profoundly amazing year. This summer during one of the lowest times of this year, I remember standing in church among my brothers and sisters in Christ, tears streaming down my face. We were singing about the worthiness of Jesus. I remembered seeing so clearly, on a day of great loss, that Jesus IS worthy! He is worth losing EVERYTHING else (and I felt like I was losing practically everything else). I remembered the comforting words of a dear friend who gently led me to Matthew 10 after I told her that I felt like I was losing almost everything in life that was important to me. This was the passage:

Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

I am called to treasure the Lord above all else—above even every good and perfect gift that comes from Him--like family, friends, and everything else. This comes at a painful cost. I know that I have not even faced anything near to the costliest of costs in my short and blessed life, but still it has been very painful to me. Yet He has shown me all of my life, and most profoundly this year, that He is worthy of losing my life. He is worthy of my trust and worthy of my worship. He has shown me increasingly greater glimpses of the beauty and majesty of His character. Nothing compares. I am eternally grateful.

Psalm 84:1-12 "How lovely is your dwelling place,O Lord of hosts!2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.6 As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.7 They go from strength to strength;each one appears before God in Zion. 8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah 9 Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed!10 For a day in your courts is betterthan a thousand elsewhere.I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor.No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.12 O Lord of hosts,blessed is the one who trusts in you!"

Job 1:20-21 “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.’”

Job 42:1-6
42:1 Then Job answered the Lord and said:
2 “I know that you can do all things,and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;6 therefore I despise myself,and repent in dust and ashes.”

Habakkuk 3:17-19
17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive failand the fields yield no food,the flock be cut off from the foldand there be no herd in the stalls,18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places.


Amber Red said...

Bina! Thank you so much for sharing this...I too think this has been the worst year in my life (circumstance). Matthew 10 just came alive to me.


matt bayley said...

Boy, do I feel pressure now. That is the text that I will be preaching on this Sunday. To God be the Glory!


Matt Bayley

Anonymous said...

Amen. Love you dearly, friend.