The Mystery of 2017
Thank God 2017 will be a mystery!
It is God’s privilege to conceal things…Proverbs 25:2 (TLB)
THAT was the verse in my devotional this morning, the last day of 2016. Have you ever had a moment when something just “hits you between the eyes” and it clicks instantly? This verse instantly provided clarity and peace about 2016 and 2017-knock me over powerful!
I receive The Daily Guidepost as a gift yearly from my mom at Christmas. It is a collection of 49 writers, all denominations of faith, all in different places and stages of their life, and all who write a scripture and share it relating to their life. It is a staple for me even on my busiest days. (Daily Guideposts)
So today, the last day of year when people are preparing to celebrate and reflect and set new year’s resolutions and goals for the new year or find their one word focus for the upcoming year, this verse struck me deeply. The writer (Daniel Schantz) stated, “I feel like I am getting ready for something, but what I am getting ready for is a mystery.” He was not disturbed by the mystery. In fact, he seemed excited about it, as if the future was a series of Christmas presents to be slowly unwrapped with joy. Stop, REALLY think about that statement.
I am often guilty of saying, if God would just show me how this will turn out, it will be easier; OR if he would just give me a glimpse into the ending, then I could handle it now. Really? Is that really true? Other questions posed in his reflection: “Would I even want to go to a ballgame if I already knew who would win?” “Would I enjoy a movie very much if I had seen the ending before?” Of course not, is the answer to both of those questions.
“Not knowing the future frees me to pay attention to the present and maybe that’s the best way to be ready for the future.” (Daniel Schantz, Guidepost 2016)
I am a reflective person; I journal through the year; I spend time at the end of each year reflecting back; I write goals or choose a focus for the upcoming year, determine the action steps, wanting to be focused and intentional about the new year. I enjoy this process; it quiets my mind and heart. I see my sins, mistakes, placed I stepped in and took over for God and how smoothly that went (insert cough and proper eye roll). I see ALL the places where my expectations were blown out of the water and God overdid the joy and blessing. This past year in particular, if I had known and seen it all ahead of time, with no mysteries, no way in the world would I have enjoyed it even half as much as I did. And I certainly would have missed the lessons and the places God grew me and gave me the strength and courage I needed, because, let’s face it, I would have run, okay sprinted, in the opposite direction!
My heart is overwhelmed by this thought of mystery with God leading the way and allowing me to unwrap the presents when he presents them to me, instead of me knowing what is inside and stepping right over it, numb to the joy of that gift.
What does that do to those goals, focuses, words, resolutions that we spend time on for the new year? Why bother, because in essence, the plan is set and God already knows the score at the end of the year, right? Why? Because then I can drill down on simplicity, what really matters each year regardless of the stuff life throws at me!
It focuses me even more on what really matters, trusting God with all my heart, and leaning not on my own understanding. Staying in relationship with HIM, so close that I know when I have choices in front of me, I have the strength to choose God’s direction and not the world’s direction; so close I have wisdom from the Bible, and I know what choices to make so that I will glorify Him each time.
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29 (NIV)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
About this year, 2017, Lord, surprise me (again)!