The New Year is upon us. This is the time that we all make New Years Resolutions. Some of us want to lose weight or stop smoking. So many of us have vices in our lives that we want to change. Change is never easy even if the change is good. Within a month most of the things we wanted to change will have gone to the way-side.
The Bible has a lot to say about the plans we make in our lives. Proverbs 16:9 says,” A man plans his steps but the Lord directs his paths.” You can put your name in here, “Cindy plans her steps but the Lord directs her paths”. Even though we make plans in this life, with all of the best intentions we all know how quickly things can change and we can feel helpless at times. Rest assured the Lord is in control and if you have a personal relationship with Him He is with you always. We serve a good God and He is good all the time. Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that His attributes are the same yesterday today, and tomorrow. He is the Lord and He never changes. The fact that He never changes brings stability into my life when at times life can be unpredictable.
One of my favorite verses in the bible is Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you, plans of good not evil to give you a future and a hope.” We live in a sinful and fallen world so, if evil does befall you know that bad things do happen, even to Christians. The Lord can take something that has happened in your life and bring good out of a bad situation. We have many examples of people who have overcome some tragedy in their life and the situation has brought about a change in them that has affected others for good.
Several years ago I heard that amazing story of a young teenage girl that was a professional surfer and an amazing athlete. She lived in Hawaii with her family, and her dad made surfboards for a living. He was at one time a professional surfer too. He taught his daughter Bethany everything he knew about surfing from a very early age. As a teenager Bethany knew the Lord but was distant in her relationship. She was only focused on winning competitions. The upcoming competition was a really big deal to Bethany. If she won, this could make her famous and she could get a more prominent sport company to sponsor her. She felt that she really needed this in order to move forward in her surfing career. With this victory she could travel to different places and enter even bigger and better competitions. This competition involved intense training. One morning she went out to surf in a remote area of the island. She went with her best friend and her friend’s father. They hadn’t been in the water very long when a great white shark bit into her surfboard and took along with it almost all of her arm. Bethany cried out for help and her friend’s father who was not far away came to rescue her. He put her back on the board and swam as fast as he could to the shore. Her friend and her friend’s father acted quickly and got her into their jeep. They were in a remote area and it was faster if they took her to the hospital. This quick response saved her life. On the way to the hospital Bethany was in and out of conciseness and she called out to God.
Her life was spared but she had to do things differently now that she only had one arm. Her life was totally dependant on her family and she needed their assistance for everything. She felt broken. God used that brokenness in her life and changed her from an independent, self willed, young woman to a dependent, surrendered, young woman that wanted to serve God according to His will. Now Bethany could use her abilities to glorify Him and Bethany began to experience what she never could have a imagined before.
Isaiah 61:3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
Only God can turn ashes into something beautiful. Bethany learned how to surf again with only one arm. Surfing was in her blood and with the Lord’s help she knew nothing was impossible. God loves to use our weaknesses and turn them into strengths in our life. He will receive all the glory, because you will know in your heart and mind that God has produced the good work. As you humble yourself, the Lord will draw you closer to Him. In our weakness we know that He is more than able to accomplish amazing things in our lives.
I am not sure where you are tonight in your spiritual journey. I pray that you will give all your hopes and dreams for this new year to the one holds your life in His hands. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.”
The road we travel in this life is uncertain
With many bumps along the way
When I ponder a path to take In the quiet of my soul, He will show me the way
I’m so thankful in my journey that I’m not alone
The Lord will will direct my travels every step of the way.way.