Happy New Year from me to you! What a whirlwind these past few months have been, and in it all, I typically find myself so surprised at how quickly January 1st seems to roll around every year…but not this year.
I have been waiting.
I have been longing.
I have been expectant.
Life is full of seasons—seasons of waiting, seasons of hope, seasons of grief, seasons of harvest, seasons of death, seasons of new life. In the different seasons I have found myself, I think I’ve finally learned to expect God. Sounds simple, almost trivial, perhaps, but nevertheless, it is a lesson learned. I have learned to proclaim with joy in my seasons of harvest: “I expect you, God!” Those words easily flow through my lips when I’m seeing God show up time and time again and witnessing His hand of favor on my life in remarkable ways. It’s easy to praise God in the sun.
What about in the storm? What about in the dark? When we find ourselves in the painfully long winters of life…do we expect God then, too? If I could characterize 2017 for myself, I would probably say it was a beauty, and it was a beast. There was much good and much hard colliding with each other all year long. There were mountaintops, and there were deep valleys. There was a pendulum that continued to swing back and forth between that which produced hope in me and that which threatened to rob me of that very hope.
But God kept showing up.
He showed up in my anger. He showed up in my impatience. He showed up in my demands. He showed up in my tears. He showed up in my dreams. He showed up in the still moments of my days. He showed up in the fight. He showed up in the calm. He kept showing up. So, I’ve learned to expect Him to, and therein, I have found hope…a hope that cannot be put to shame by others or by my circumstances.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
I’ve learned to tether myself to an unwavering God because He is never moved, so when I am anchored to Him, I will not be moved, either. I’ve learned to not grow weary in doing good because a harvest awaits those who won’t give up. (Galatians 6:9) So, I’m not giving up. I’m pressing on toward the prize of heaven. I’ve learned to expect God to show up because He always has, and He always will.
So, I’m moving into 2018 with a bold confidence, with a determined steadfastness, with an anchored faith in the unchanging character of my God. My hope rests in Him, even though I may still be found in the waiting of my winter. Even though I still await the harvest that is promised, I wait with expectancy.
Will you expect God with me this year?