2017 – Beyond What I Can See

2016 is quickly coming to a close. What a year this has been! If you had told me a year ago that I would still be serving in the same school I had planned to leave, I would have smiled and thought you were crazy. If, a year ago, you had shared that Donald Trump would be our next President, I would have laughed out loud…and openly shared with you the need for you to seek professional help. While so much of what I thought would happen this year didn’t end up happening, I can wrap-up 2016 with peace in my heart. That’s not because this year has always been easy or because the stars have all aligned and all is well. I guess that last line is really about my perspective, right? Actually, 2016 has ended very similarly to 2015. It’s been something I have been thinking about for the past couple months. And prior to Christmas break, I had the privilege of meeting with a friend of mine to “think out loud” (my favorite!) about God’s direction in my life—both right now and in the months ahead.

I shared with my friend that, at times, I sense a kinship to Abraham, from the Bible. No worries…God’s not asked me to take Felicity to the “heights” of Mt. Washington to offer her as a burnt offering. I can also assure you there are no plans (at least on my mind) to have more children. However, I do believe I know what it is like to have God ask you to leave what is familiar and move to a “TBA” location – I have experienced that geographically as well as in my profession. At times, that divine request is exhilarating—other times it is a biting your nails, hair graying experience. I also know a little about God keeping His promises…both the giving of the promise and the road to seeing His promises fulfilled. When Jaime died, God reminded me that not only had He always been with us, but that He would continue to love us and provide for us in the uncertain days ahead…and He has. In the early days of our move to Pittsburgh, God promised me that He would show me how to live again…that there was more He had for me to do. Little by little, I have seen Him working through every experience (great and not-so-great) to keep His word.

God spoke to Abraham via a night sky full of stars. I am sure that when God shared with Abraham that he (an elderly man with a barren wife) would be the father of a great nation, it was an exhilarating yet baffling moment. Could you imagine the look Abraham’s wife gave him when he went home and shared what God had said? Even after God sent angelic messengers to let the couple know the child was on its way, Sara laughed. Before the stars, after the stars, all the way up until the child was born, God was at work, keeping His word. As I peer into 2017, I am again in one of those starry night scenes in my journey. I will spare you the details for now. There is something very familiar about this place, though—something both exhilarating and (honestly) nail biting and hair graying. Where I find peace, in the midst of what should be causing fear is that I am able to look back from where I have come. Not one step of this journey has been easy, but every step has been prepared by my Good, Gracious, Heavenly Father. He not only goes before us, He walks each step of the way with us – patiently guiding & completely providing.

2017…I am looking up…beyond the stars…resting in His faithfulness & trusting the One who works on my behalf, beyond what I can see.

“Those who wait for me will not be put to shame” – Isaiah 49:23


1 thought on “2017 – Beyond What I Can See

  1. Thank you, James, for your wise words. You always encourage me! Though we have not traveled your path, we have traveled our own path and have, also, felt like “Abraham”. I can say, along with you, that God is good!

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