I was lying in bed yesterday morning pondering the year past. You may be thinking ‘2012 is over; it’s time to move on to 2013’. While it might be good advice not to dwell on the past, it is often only when we take the time to reflect, to look back, that we truly realize how God has been at work all along.
2012 was a year of much change in our family and as I lay there many things came to mind.
* completed my Timothy Leadership Training in Houston
* enjoyed meeting and spending time with a future colleague
* connected with old friends
* accepted a job offer for a position with Christian Reformed World Missions in Haiti
* started to connect with churches and individual supporters
* completed a 40 day 12 hour a day long work assignment
* celebrated our daughter Rebecca and husband Sam’s beautiful wedding day
* completed my 3 year Leadership Development Network course
* taught on Pastoral Care from Timothy Leadership material
* left my old job on good terms
* found a long term tenant to rent our house
* surgery for Tracey and successful follow-up treatment
* completed orientation to our mission agency in Grand Rapids
* visited supporting churches and met wonderful people
* welcomed 70 individual financial supporters and 60 prayer supporters
* stood at the grave of our friends’ 16 year old son
* completed projects to get the house ready for our tenants
* was cleared by head office to leave for Haiti the first week of October – as we planned in June
* took a road trip to Iowa to drop off our oldest son at college
* spent three weeks in Colorado meeting amazing people with the same passions and convictions as us and learned much about ourselves and what to expect moving to a new country
* were commissioned by the church we have spent much of our lives being part of
* were prayed over by family and friends
* left for Haiti; leaving family behind
* warmly welcomed to Haiti by colleagues
* went on a work trip to the Dominican Republic
* secured a great sturdy house in a good location with a good landlord
* enjoyed visits with our youngest son Leyson
* experienced our first team spiritual retreat
* found good language teachers
* visited 17 supporting partner churches
* spent Christmas in Canada with family
* enjoyed time with our older children
Just yesterday we celebrated the arrival of 2013 and a few hours earlier I sat in a church with others to reflect on God’s goodness in the past, His goodness today and our hope in his goodness in the future.
As I look at the list above I can’t help but marvel at the ways God’s goodness has been shown to us again and again. God worked things together to make this position available for me in Haiti. God worked in the hearts of friends and family and churches to move them to partner with us and God’s work in Haiti with their prayers and financial gifts. God was good in working things together for Tracey’s surgery and subsequent follow-up treatment. We saw God working in our packing, planning, training, traveling, and house searching. And though we are not sure how it will work out, we know that God is good even as we mourn the losses we experienced this past year.
So now we stand at the beginning of 2013 with anticipation and, if we are honest, a little trepidation. It is good to look forward to, to anticipate with excitement what the coming year will bring and that is so true as we return to Haiti and the work there. At the same time there is a little worry of what challenges may come our way. However, in either case we can be sure that God’s goodness and grace will go with us.
This prayer was in my devotional yesterday morning. Perhaps you can pray this prayer as well as we enter this year in front of us.
Maker of heaven and earth, space and time, entering this new year I put my hope in you, trusting that you will provide whatever I need for body and soul and will turn to my good whatever adversity you send me. Thank you that you are able to do this because you are almighty God, and that you desire to do this because you are a faithful Father. Amen
How about you? How have you seen God’s goodness in the year past?