Well, this past year didn’t go quite like I had hoped – for various reasons. The COVID pandemic never ended like we had hoped, we lost loved ones, unexpected illnesses seemed to hit our family a little bit harder this year, and anger and hatred seems to be at an all-time high in this world – to name just a few.

At different times over the past year, I have felt angry, sad, frustrated, hurt – you name it; but to be fair, I have also felt joyful, blessed, relieved, loved – again, you name it. I guess to sum it up, it has been a year of many different emotions. Of course, I much preferred the positive emotions, but I must admit that there were times when I took my eyes off Jesus and let the negativity creep in – probably more often than I would like to admit. When things didn’t go my way, there were moments when I failed to remember that God knew it would happen before it happened, He was in control, and there was a reason He allowed it.

Unfortunately, Satan is very good at using adversity to turn us away from God. He wants us to let our emotions get the best of us. He wants us to get angry and blame God for the bad things that happen. Eventually, our way starts becoming Satan’s way, not God’s way.

When things don’t go our way, we may decide to pout or pitch a fit, much like a toddler. Fortunately, God seems to wait for us to finish whatever tantrum or negative emotion we have settled on. It’s like He is just waiting to say: “Okay, are you finished? Do you want to hear what I have to say now?”

Did you ever notice that His answers never seem to come during that time? Instead, He seems to wait patiently for us; and when we finally settle down, listen and trust in Him, we usually realize that He has been with us the entire time. And of course, there also always seems to be a lesson to be learned. It may not be one that we want to learn, and it may be one He has taught us many times in the past, but there is something we should learn. Also, He always seems to show us that there is a light that shines in our darkness. We just often refuse to see it.

We are reminded in John 1:5 that “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

We have entered a new year and with it comes much hope and prayer that it is a year filled with much joy and laughter. I pray your cup will overflow with God’s richest of blessings. Of course, there most certainly will be times when life does not go as planned, but I pray you trust in Him every step of the way.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6