I hope that your end-of-year festivities (or lack thereof) have been reasons to give thanks to God. Mine have. It’s not that the holiday period has been particularly great, or that I have been particularly good… But my God has been faithful, and that’s what counts.
I have been broke. I’ve wished I had more to spend on my friends, family and myself in the past few weeks. But that hasn’t been the case. Still, I am grateful, for God has been generous with His grace — teaching me to trust Him in my lack and not just to view Him as my luck.
I have been dishonest. I have lied to my friends, my family and even myself. But God has been straightforward with me and His word straight-shooting, like Nathan, confronting me with my sin and leading me to both confess and repent about my errant ways. Not that I have attained it, I am still working down that list of relationships I need to mend.
I have been doubtful. Doubting that God still loved me, that I had what it takes to make it in journalism, that God had really forgiven confessed sin. I have doubted that God would take me back after I lost count of the number of times I have fallen. Even then, God’s love has been unwavering, untainted by my perception or reception of it. God’s mercy has been measureless.
I have been proud. Thinking of myself better than others, looking down on my brethren and thinking I could do a lot of things on my own. In my pride, I have found myself running on empty and still feeling full of myself. And like a jet out of gas, I have plummeted back to earth, nose first. I have choked on my pride, but God didn’t let me die. He extended a gracious hand of help, sometimes letting me win in my pride, sometimes cushioning my fall, and sometimes lovingly letting me feel the full force of my prideful ways.
I could go on. I have been many negative things in the past few weeks and in the last year. I know there are moments when I have been good, pleasing, strong and victorious. But it is hard to magnify such moments when the weight of my failures is so heavy on my shoulder. When the cloud of clout makes every good deed a source of new sins of self-righteousness. This simply shows that I could do better in my appreciation of God’s grace in my life.
But I am learning to let God be the center of my life. I am learning to celebrate my victories while still giving God the glory. I am learning to delight in the small wins without losing myself in the process. God is teaching me to receive praise while deflecting it, to recognize my talent while re-investing it, to be grateful for every good gift without deserving it.
I am learning to worship. To lift up my hands in surrender, and watching God keep them up in victory.
I am learning to be the man that God created me to be: A restored prodigal, a pardoned prisoner — a sinner saved by Grace.
And it is my prayer that 2014 will simply be 365 more days of similar and better and deeper lessons.
Lessons about 365 new ways to love God and live for God and love for God.
For the fame of God’s name.
01.01.2014 23:12 (UTC+03:00) Nairobi