New Year’s Day is typically one of my favorite holidays. I love the reminder that it gives us of how we can start new with a clean slate. I’m not one to make many resolutions; however, I do love the idea of taking time to start the New Year right by taking intentional steps to draw nearer to the Lord. However, while I would love to say 2016 had an amazing start, I have to confess that this year did not begin quite like I’d hoped it would.
You see, on New Year’s Day, I received three pretty major emotional blows. That morning, my family received a phone call that our friends’ son had tragically been killed as a pedestrian in a hit and run accident. Their son was only 28 years old. My heart was deeply burdened for this family, though I didn’t even know their son.
Later that day, my mom received a phone call from a specialist she had been going to for blood tests, and the doctor indicated that it was a very real possibility that she could have a form of leukemia or lymphoma. My spirits sank once again. Honestly, the doctor’s call left us with more questions than answers, and we were at a loss for how to respond or what to do next.
My family chose to respond in worship unto the Lord, and during this worship time, we sounded the alarm and sent out many notes for prayer. I sent out some prayer request emails and texts, and one of my friends wrote back that he would be praying, but he also asked for prayer because he was going in for a scan because the doctors were concerned he had a tumor on his brain. My heart sank even lower.
Happy New Year! Your friends’ son died, your mom might have a serious disease, and your friend might have a brain tumor. This was not the way I wanted to start 2016.
Prior to this time, I had been meditating a lot on how good God is and how grateful I was for His many blessings. “Good Good Father” had become a favorite song of mine to sing, coupled with “No Longer Slaves.” With that, I was also dwelling a lot on living free from fear and instead full of power like the Lord intended. However, when everything seemed to start caving in, it became more difficult to sing about the Lord being a “Good Good Father.” It became more difficult to sing, “I’m no longer a slave to fear.” My fears were colliding with my faith.
Through it all, however, one particular phrase stood out to me that another friend had texted me: he told me to trust God’s character. Even when things don’t make sense, and even when we want to give up and walk away, we have to trust that God’s character never changes. You see, it’s easy to call him a “Good Good Father” when everything is going well, but what about when everything seems to fall to pieces? Is He still good? Can we still trust His character?
I have to be real and confess that it took me a while before I could again utter those words: “You are good, Lord. You are good.” Yet, I finally came to the conclusion that I had to trust His character, no matter what. My faith compelled me to overcome my fear. Nothing on the outside changed, but the Lord changed my outlook. He helped me to see things from a new perspective. Life is not always good, but God always is, and He is always faithful. I can trust in His character, no matter what.
And you know what? Even in the tragedy of my friends’ son dying, through his death, I was able to learn of the amazing life He lived and the thousands of people he impacted for Christ in his 28-year lifespan. This didn’t take away the pain of his loss, but it certainly added volumes to the testimony of his life. Amazing. Also, I learned a few days later that my friend did not have anything in his brain to be concerned about. It was all just a scare over nothing. I praised God for that. Finally, I began to see my mom climb to new heights in her faith, and her faith inspired me to push forward in faith as well, trusting that the Lord indeed has her healing already taken care of, because, after all, He is good…always.
The year may not have started the way I wanted, but in the end, I know the results will be victorious and that they will draw me closer to the goodness of God than I ever have been before. I choose to trust in the character of my God, no matter what. He is faithful and true. He will never let me down.