[Papercut Press] 2002-12-31 - A Tough Year

Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.

This has been a hard year for me. I have debated, in my head, if I should send this out. It is New Year's Eve, so here it is. This really has been the hardest year of my life. I have made it a point to try not to talk about my personal life in these devotionals, even though I do a hundred or so a year. New Years is the time for resolutions and I print this as an encouragement to you to trust the Lord in all areas of your life. It is due to my trust in the Lord's providence, grace, and precious mercy that I made it through this year. I know many have had it worse than I, but this year has been a hard hit to my life. As I share some of my struggles with you I hope you will look to the Lord in your struggles as life progresses on for us all. So here is a list of some of the major things with some commentary.

  1. I am sadly going through a nasty divorce. My wife left the faith, and has admitted to infidelity and thus we are going through a sad time. She was excommunicated from our church in the Summer of 2002 and we are slowly moving on, but not together. This has been really difficult upon me as I feel embarrassed at becoming a "Christian statistic," but also, it hurts more to dishonor the name and cause of Christ by failing in what was a Christian marriage. I can only rest in the providence and will of God because this was never the will for my life.
  2. In April I was involved in a serious car accident. I introduced my SUV to three trees. We all lost. I had serious enough head injuries that I was knocked out for some time and did not even know I had serious injuries until 36 hours after the accident. The SUV was a total loss. I can only see God's gracious providence in the preservation of my life (No seat belt at 60 miles plus by the Police report). I know more than ever that I am only here by His grace and that gives me motivation to serve Him regardless of any cost it might mean to me. God's preservation is a greater security than any danger we might face.
  3. My work schedule has been nuts this year. For many weeks I have been over 100 hours. But again, God's grace shines through. I have been able to tone it down some and hire some help. But if you wonder how crazy it has been for me, I get three weeks vacation each year and did not even take a day of vacation -- not even a sick day, or personal day. However, things are on the up in that department. God, again, has shown His mercy.
  4. Speaking of sick days, and car wrecks, my health was not good this year. However, here I am writing, so again God's kindness is evident to me. It could be the car wreck or sleep depravation, the doctors are not sure, but I simply collapsed this summer and had to be admitted to the hospital for a few hours. I am stubborn and I refused treatment, but I did get a ride in a nice ambulance with flashing lights. Again, God was gracious and spared my life. I have never felt those sensations in my body before and I really believe that my life was on the edge. I spent the next few months seeing doctors and no one could find anything wrong, so I am thankful for that also.
  5. Worst of all on December 27, 2002, I got glasses. I am now a member of the four eyes club. It is probably the fault of cfdevotionals and ebay. I spend too much time in front of the computer screen. Honestly, I am so thankful for the mercy of the Lord that I live in a country where I can get glasses. His mercy is so amazing and that is what I have learned this year.

I have learned many things this year. It has been a hard year. But I have learned to trust the Lord more than ever before. Life is full of turns that hurt and also turns that give joy. Sometimes they sneak up on us. I have learned this year that resting in Christ alone has been my only hope. I share some of my struggles with you only because I don't know what you might go through this year. I never saw this coming in my life. I have learned this by going through it the hard way and this past year hurt me deeply. However my trust in the Lord is stronger than ever and it is only His grace and mercy that has sustained me. Whatever hits you this coming year, I plead with you to rest in Christ alone.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] godrulestb@aol.com