It's 2018. Another new year, full of incredible possibilities! All that potential should just about make you burst with excitement!
If you're a human though, you've probably already faced disappointment of some kind. You might have even carried over a burden from 2017 (soooooo last year) into 2018 (the proverbial promised land). GASP!
Now, if you're not a human, all of this doesn't apply to you. Go ahead and hop back in your spaceship and get heck on outta here. For the rest of us humans though, the fact that life probably hasn't gotten drastically better for you in 2018 may have you discouraged. You might even be skeptical that things will get better at all. I know I've certainly felt that way before.
Real people time: all my life I've struggled with discouragement. It feels like Satan has always been in my ear, telling me that I don't matter, that I'll never make any difference, that God can't use me because I'm a failure. Unfortunately, many times, I listened to those lies. I've even gone as far as to allow some of those lies seemingly become realities. High school and college were particularly difficult seasons for me, and as hard as it is to admit it, I still carry a lot of that baggage.
Through it all though, God never left me. If I could just slow down for 1 second and look back, I can see how He was there every step of the way. He brought mentors when I needed direction, professors when I needed to learn, people when I needed community, confidants when I needed accountability, opportunity when I needed financial support, and true friends when I just needed to be encouraged. Every need I've ever had has been met. It's totally astounding.
The amazing thing for me is just how little sense it makes from a worldly perspective. Why would God go through all the trouble, the hurt, the struggle, just to bring me to Him when there are so many others who have walked with Him faithfully their whole lives?
Be encouraged today: Our God is the God who leaves the 99 to find the 1 who's wandered into the wilderness. And He'll do it every time. He won't change His mind. As Cory Asbury puts it, His love for you is that reckless.
You're probably struggling with something here in this glorious year of 2018. You might feel far from God, but the truth is that God is never far from you. He'll recklessly come after you, and if you'll just lean into that embrace, if you'll just take a moment to stop running, you'll find that God can handle whatever weight you're carrying.
Grace and Peace,