I hope this season finds you well as we are almost to the end of winter and to the front of spring. I, for one, am ready for some warmer weather. Being from Alabama, I’ve had about as much as I can take! I’ve never shoveled a sidewalk or driveway in my life until just a few weeks ago. I walked outside with a normal digging shovel when my good friend and neighbor Dale Potts saw me struggling and let me borrow a real snow shovel. I am thankful he helped me or I might have been snowed in!
It’s funny, the feeling of being snowed in. I remember looking out the window and seeing all of the snow, thinking, “There’s no way I can go anywhere, I’m going to be stuck for days!” To my surprise, I went outside and saw people everywhere. I saw people leaving for work, people exercising, ect. I thought to myself, “These people are crazy.” Again, being from the South, I expected the whole city to shut down. But that’s not the way it is here in Indiana. People still operate in the snow. So I borrowed Dale’s snow shovel, I shoveled my driveway, and I went to work, driving as slow as I could. The funny thing, is that after a couple of days, I didn’t mind driving in the snow. I don’t mind getting out in zero degree weather. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be, and I’m thankful that my life didn’t have to slow down for two weeks just because of some silly snow.
Sometimes, I feel like our walk with God can be like this. We look through our spiritual window, and we see too many things that will keep us from walking with God. We see our sinful desires. We see our temptations. We see our culture. We see the messiness of our lives. And when we look at our lives through a window, sometimes we see things a lot worse than snow. And we think to ourselves, “There’s no way I can walk through this.” We’re tempted to think, “God can’t help me here.” And it’s at this place that we need to be reminded of God’s promises. Psalm 23:1-6 says,
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.”
I pray that we rest in the promises of God. That He is with us. He never leaves us. He never forsakes us. And even when we feel “snowed in” throughout the messiness of our lives, beneath all of our sin, we have a perfect Savior willing to walk with us, and walk for us. So don’t walk in fear, scared of what lies ahead. Go fourth, confident in the God who called you to live your life to bring Him glory.
I hope that this new year finds you well. As I reflect on this past year, I am thankful to God in so many ways. I’ve seen him move in my own life as I have grown closer to Him. I’ve seen him move in my family, as he has blessed Annaclaire and I with a beautiful daughter. And I’ve seen him move in our Church Family in so many ways. As we have worshiped together Sunday after Sunday, I’ve seen God move through the voices of our congregation. We have worshiped God because we have so much to worship Him for. Are we perfect? No. Are our lives perfect? No. Is our Church perfect? No. But with every “no” we see in our lives, we are intersected by a powerful “yes” in Jesus. We may not always get what we want. But God, our Father, gives us what we need. He knows what we need, and it’s better than anything we could want.
So my prayer for this new year, is that we will find our “yes” in Jesus. We will all be tempted to look to so many things to say “yes” to us. But the reality is that there are many things in life that we want, and we’re told “no.” And these desires aren't always bad things. Maybe you want to start a family, and the answer right now is, “no.” Maybe you want a new job and the answer right now is, “no.” Maybe you want to be married and the answer right now is, “no.” There are many things we want, and even the good things, sometimes, have to wait.
But when we come to Jesus, and we ask Him for the things He’s already promised, we get a resounding “yes.” If we ask for His faithfulness, his answer is always, “yes.” If we ask for His presence, His goodness, His mercy, His provision, His forgiveness, the answer to all of these desires is a resounding, “yes!” So this year, let’s find our “yes” in Jesus. We may hear the word “no” a lot, but if we come to Jesus and receive everything He’s already promised to give us, then we will find joy. We’ll find hope.
I am so excited about this year, and I believe God has big things planned for us as a Church Family. I hope you’ll come and be a part of what God is doing. There is always a place for you!