I came across this blog title last year and made a note to copy it. It’s one of my traditions at the end of a year to read my journal from that year. It’s always an insightful activity…to remember what I struggled with…to reflect on what God has taught me…
After going through my journal from 2015, a few themes stood out. Here are the Top 10 Lessons from 2015:
1. I am weak.
I haven’t blogged a ton this past year. Of course, it has something to do with having four kids and being married to a pastor…and being so tired at night I can barely brush my teeth let alone document my thoughts and emotions. But if I’m honest, there’s also this: I feel like one of the main things I do is struggle…and I think this theme gets boring to read after awhile. The longer life goes on, the more aware I am of my weakness. I guess I don’t like to admit how weak I am…I’d rather come off as put-together. I’m realizing that I need to fight against this prideful desire to pretend I am something I’m not.
2. God is strong.
The words of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 always bring me back: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses…For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
“But we have this treasure in JARS OF CLAY, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7). I want people to look at me and know that whatever strength they see is Christ in me.
3. I am quickly deceived.
I am constantly trying to improve things around me: chore charts, homework schedules, meal planning and execution, etc. It’s unbelievable how optimistic I can be…like, this new SYSTEM will solve all of my problems. How quickly I can be deceived, thinking that my joy and peace can be found somewhere other than Christ.
4. God isn’t.
God is not deceived. Even though my struggle with sin seems to consume my day, God is faithful. Romans 7:24-25 says, ” Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
5. My sin is deep.
God has been gracious to reveal sin to me this year. I guess when it’s happening I don’t feel like it’s a gracious thing, but looking back, I know it is. I am thankful that God reveals what my idols are so that I can confess them and give Him the full worship that He’s worthy of.
6. Grace is deeper.
Isn’t it comforting to know that we are always only ONE STEP away from Christ? It doesn’t matter how many steps we’ve taken away from Him…He is still only one step of repentance away. I guess this is only possible because while we’re running away from Him, He’s chasing us. I’m so thankful that God is able to “wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Ps. 51:7).
7. I fall short
I mean, c’mon…I’m not even going to finish this top-ten list because the school bus will pull up any minute…and then, it’s all over…(the peace and quiet, I mean). I fall short of my standards every day. I fall short of God’s standards every moment.
8. God makes up for it.
I’m so thankful that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. I’m relieved that God didn’t wait until I was worthy of His love to give His life for me. I’m grateful for the cross of Jesus. What a gift that we get a fresh start…not just at the beginning of every year…but at the beginning of every hour and every moment, really.
Thank you, Jesus, for forgiveness and fresh starts in You.