For me, 2022 hit like a sucker punch to the gut. By Jan 3rd, my husband, daughter and I all had COVID. Three weeks later I found myself sitting beside my daughter’s hospital bed praying that she would recover from a COVID induced delirium. Few things are as terrifying a seeing your child incoherent and delusional, lying a hospital bed.
This is NOT how I would have chosen to start 2022. Like it or not, this is how it started. Now I have two choices. I can decide that 2022 will be a crappy year and lose myself to fear and depression. OR I can place my hope in the Lord and believe His promises.
I know the plans that I have for you says the Lord. Plans for good, not to harm you, plans for hope and a future of HOPE (Jer 29:11) All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28)
These are my go-to verses when the poop hits the fan. They have carried me through some of the darkest, most heartbreaking seasons of life. They anchor me to a steadfast hope. God has demonstrated over and over again that in EVERY circumstance, He can be fully trusted to work on our behalf!
Yet, as I watched my precious daughter slip into delirium, my hold on this anchor of hope became as tenuous and fragile as the tether my daughter had on reality. Both began to unravel. I watched her mental faculties deteriorate and I felt utterly helpless and hopeless. When I left my terrified, delusional daughter at the hospital alone, my heart broke. In utter desperation, I cried out to God. Then I came across Daniel 10:19
“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!”
The angel of the Lord spoke these words to Daniel after he saw a vision of a mighty warrior coming against Israel. This vision caused overwhelming fear and anxiety in Daniel. “Yet no strength was left in me, for my normal appearance turned to a deathly pale, and I grew faint and weak with fright” (Dan 10:8). I could TOTALLY relate! I was overwhelmed, anxious, and filled with fear.
I clung desperately to Daniel 10:19. As I repeated it over and over, it reminded me WHY God has good plans for us and why He causes EVERYTHING to work for our good. It is because we are precious to Him! His love is limitless and extravagant. He defines, embodies, and expresses love perfectly. Amazingly, inexplicably, undeservedly, WE are the objects of His extravagant love! Because we are precious to Him, He has good plans for our future. He is so serious about these plans that He will cause all things to work for their fulfillment.
Our lives matter to God! What comfort and HOPE this brings! No matter what happens in this coming year, we can anchor ourselves in this hope! God is ALWAYS faithful! There is no shadow of turning in Him. His word does not fail or come back empty but accomplishes that for which He sent it (Is 55:11). He has GOOD plans for our future, and He will ensure that those plans are fulfilled. Grasp that HOPE with all your might and NEVER let go! Find peace! Be encouraged! Renew your strength! We are precious to Him, therefore we have hope in this new year!
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