Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

newyearsOur minds can get consumed with the negative in this world to the point where we completely fail to see the grace in front of us.

I was thinking about this last night and this morning. It’s funny how rejection, hatred, slander, grudge-holding and hurt by others can carry more of an impact than kindness, generosity, mercy and grace. As 2014 shudders to an end, that’s worth thinking about.

In the last nearly four years of spiritual, emotional and financial stress in our family’s life, there has been an ongoing sense of loss, or at least what appears to be loss. But there has also been tremendous gain, and those are the things I was thinking about this morning.

We have back and forth conversations in our own minds, at least I do. I’m not talking about mental illness, I mean the wrestling for dominance of either good or the not good in our thinking. The conversation can run something like this.

Negative thought: “Isn’t it sad that person X and Y are no longer in our lives? I really valued them and I can’t understand how they could throw us under the bus and walk away without a second look.”

Positive comeback: “Yes, but isn’t it good to be free of false friends and those who never really valued you in the first place? If they were true friends or loving family, they would never have dumped us by the side of the road. God had a house-cleaning in our lives. Appreciate that. Be grateful.”

Negative thought: “Yes, but there’s a hole there now.”

Positive comeback: “What hole? God not only removed the false and untrue, he replaced those people with new friends and family who are a constant reminder of His grace and love. How is that loss? Sounds like gain to me.”

Negative thought: “How is this need going to be met? This is a mountain we have been forced to climb unjustly by false Christians with no sense of decency or compassion.

Positive comeback: “God has met the needs. He will meet the needs. Demonstrate otherwise.”

And on the conversation goes.

I put the positive comeback in bold to demonstrate the need for those words to dominate and win out. It’s difficult to do in life. That’s the struggle we are always in. For some reason, evil tends to strut on the stage of our minds while good sits in the corner unnoticed and ignored. At times like this, we need to kick evil and its perpetrators off the stage and slam the door. Grace needs to step forward in our minds and take the stage, love needs to have the spotlight, and the God who shows his amazing mercy should get the applause.

There’s life in gratitude. There’s death in the circular thinking of negativity.

It’s good to begin a fresh year with this in mind. It’s crucial to find the good and praise it, and to teach our children to do the same.

A blessed New Year to all of you who stop by the blog!

A special thank-you to those who read this who have been a personal and material blessing to our family. You know who you are. We are grateful.
A psalm of thanksgiving:

Shout for joy to Adonai, all the earth!
Serve Adonai with gladness.
Enter his presence with joyful songs.
Be aware that Adonai is God;
it is he who made us; and we are his,
his people, the flock in his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
enter his courtyards with praise;
give thanks to him, and bless his name.
For Adonai is good, his grace continues forever,
and his faithfulness lasts through all generations.

~ Psalm 100

 

4 thoughts on “Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

  1. Donna says:

    Happy New Year. And sometimes that “happy” part is sheer will-power, isn’t it? But it can carry us through until the times when we can just experience the joy and humor.

  2. Beverley says:

    I say an Amen to Donna’s comment. Ingrid, Tom & family – truly praying for the Lord’s wisdom and strength to continue in your lives. You have been so kind to exhort and encourage us.
    Thank you for the HOPE blog and sharing your lives with us.

  3. Judi says:

    And another resounding Amen to all of the above!!! Thank you, Ingrid, for being/doing what God has called you to do, and the blessing of many others because of your obedience. “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)…The answer to all of our conundrums we’d do well to remember. A Blessed New Year to you and your family.

  4. Carol says:

    I remember your Slice blog and all the things you brought to light, and with exposing truth, there are people who always want to shoot the messenger. I know what it’s like to be rejected by people you think are Bible believing Christians, and the range of emotions and thoughts that go with it. And even if it had happened years ago, thoughts come to mind that you have to counterattack that may remind you of those people. But we have to remember that if they were true friends, they would not have been so hurtful.
    It reminds me of how late in the age we really are. Love has grown cold and it seems like more and more spiritual abuse is happening and these are supposed to be people who claim the name of Jesus Christ.
    Count it loss so you can gain Christ.

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