Happy New Year! Another new year has begun. 2012 will be filled with many new experiences. And it is with a mix of wonder and excitement that I peer into the foggy future coming my way. Will it be a year that sees dreams come true? Will this be the year that Christ returns? Who knows what will happen! Anything is possible! What I know for certain is that 2012 will change each of us. Hopefully for the better.
For me 2011 was memorable, filled with trials and tests. That's not to say the whole year was difficult. I had great experiences too. But the last events of 2011 left my family and I exhausted. My closest uncle, one I love deeply, nearly died from a burst appendix only a week before Christmas. But by God's grace he survived the operation and doctors have called his case unexplainable. By all accounts he should have died. By the time he went to the ER his appendix had already burst and had been spreading infection for 6 days. But he felt no pain. He simply felt a bit nauseated and had a slight fever that wouldn't go away.
When the surgeons opened him they found gangrene in his colon and had to remove several centimeters of his large and small intestine. Their prognosis was grim. But we had an army of Christians praying for my uncle. And although God could have taken him anyway I believe that my uncle still has work to do on Earth for the kingdom.
My mother had taken a flight to be with he and his wife during that difficult time. I remained at home finishing obligations at work, caring for grandmother, and preparing all the meals for the whole family. Things were a little-bit crazy at the time because Christmas was also approaching and there were many preparations and performances I had to give.
By God's grace things worked out. But two days before my mother was to return, on her anniversary day no less, her favorite cat died. We did everything we could to keep it alive for her but the poor little guy just couldn't do it. He was 22 years old.
After all the craziness was over there was an incredible peace that settled over all of us for Christmas. We realized that the funeral we had in 2011 for a beloved cat could have been for a beloved uncle and we counted our blessings. Pets are like family too, especially if they've been around for so long, but nothing compares to the loss of a human life. And so I am very grateful that God did not allow that sorrow to overshadow our Christmas.
So, 2012 looks bright with promise for me right now. I have a lot to be thankful for. God is sovereign in all he allows.
On the radio the other day I was listening to Joni Eareckson Tada. She has an amazing testimony. Joni said many wise things but her final words touched me. She said: " God hand picks our trials."
How true. He doesn't just let things happen to us randomly. He plans and prepares every trial, big or small, in our lives. That brings me a level of comfort because I don't know what will happen this year. But I do know that God is in control and caring for me and you.
"' I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" ~ Jeremiah 29:11