I use Timehop and I am enjoying a 40 day streak (longest ever for me!) where I remember to check the app to see my social media and IPhone picture past from the last seven years or so. This came up a few days ago.
Better prices and new beginnings were my hopes capping off a shocking layoff early in the year. Well, now that I am at the end of 2016, I can say that new beginnings definitely happened. I became an art and computers teacher in a junior high school. Better prices didn’t really happen. But my definition on what it meant did. I went through a health issue with my left eye that got worse before it got better over a period of months later on in 2016. I was learning to teach and trying to balance it all out. (I feel sorry for my students for having me my very first time in this field!) But I learned that my weakness is made perfect in Him. He can sustain me and allow me to grow and learn and cultivate relationships with my students that needed to be there during key moments in both mine and their lives. He can be trusted with my health. He can be trusted with my daughter. He is our Healer. He surrounds me with His loving kindness through an incredibly caring church family. He encourages me through my family and friends. I am blessed and where I am meant to be at this time in my life. None of this was attained without cost or great loss to me in some defined quantity; but the question became what is my measure of value for life going to look like?
Solomon could have had anything, literally ANYTHING he wanted from God. He picked wisdom. Even God Himself was so impressed with Solomon’s request that He granted it and had to give him more because his answer was just that good! Now, Solomon’s earthly father was King David. King David was no mere mortal among men. He was described in the scriptures as a man after God’s own Heart… so just throwing it out there that Solomon definitely had connections. He had to have heard the incredible stories about his father, both amazing and horrifying. After all, his dad had the ability to magnify mistakes and glories to a magnitude of 50K. Bathsheba was Solomon’s mama. She was beautiful and had lost her first baby with David due to “bad choices on David’s part.” Not really hers. She pretty much had to do what the King commanded. But still, God chose Solomon. No matter what his parents had done, Solomon loved God. And for a brief time, Solomon followed God and was an incredible vessel for His glory on this Earth. He tragically fell later and succumbed to the world. But, for a time, he was a great ruler. There are great lessons to be learned from Solomon, even today.
Loved ones were lost this year, too. It was a year full of trials for many people. We were never promised a trial free existence. We were promised joy and perseverance and that our faith would be made perfect, lacking nothing.
“Possessing joy is a choice. We choose whether to value God’s presence, promises, and work in our lives. When we yield to the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God’s grace around us and fills us with joy (Romans 15:13). Joy is not to be found in a fallen world; it is only fellowship with God that can make our joy complete (1 John 1:4).”
We can choose to follow other gods like Solomon or remain in his first choice: Seek God’s wisdom in our lives. Ask for discernment in our choices. Seek and choose joy. It’s part of His yoke and it is the light part. Praise as much as you can. It is good for our souls to do it in any plight. We show the enemy that he cannot stop us from thanking our Jesus and praising His Name, no matter what he tries to throw at us. We will not give up because we believe that the name of Jesus is the most powerful name there is. And He is worth fighting for. ❤️
We are in a season to remember and celebrate His coming to Earth to save us from ourselves. May we remember that when the enemy tempts us to remember things that take our focus off the One who was born to redeem us and changes our future for eternity as well as on Earth. We remember and Rejoice!
May we choose the fullness of joy in all seasons of our lives. May we meet trials and suffering head on with this confidence. That the blood of Jesus is more powerful than any two edged sword and the name of Jesus is to be praised in 2017 and beyond. ❤️