I’ve been so thankful this past week for my church.
The beginning of a new year is always a natural time to reflect, get some priorities straight, dream dreams and set goals. This year, it seems like the new year rolled around at the perfect time for me.
I’ve been reminded lately that some of the things that are “normal” to me are not normal to a lot of people. To me, it’s normal to be surrounded by positive and passionate people who’s focus is to serve others. It’s normal to go to services and small groups where I can hear the Word of God, find encouragement for my life and be given the grace and the opportunity to change. It’s normal to have the kind of friends who will throw you beautiful bridal showers and baby showers just because. It’s normal to see high school students who spend their free time sowing into ministries not because their parents are making them, but because they genuinely love Jesus and believe that their lives are important and powerful in the hands of God. It’s normal to see great examples of parents who treat their children with dignity and respect. It’s normal to know the names and phone numbers of 50 people you know you could call if you ever really needed something. It’s normal to know that when you have a baby you’ll have people bringing you meals for a couple weeks because that’s just what the people you know do. It’s normal to be challenged to grow and to experience a deeper relationship with God.
But I’ve watched TV and movies, I have neighbors and as I drive through town and look around I know that my normal is not shared by everyone. The normal things that I can so easily take for granted are actually miraculous, other-worldly things that God is allowing me to experience by his grace. It’s a taste of the Kingdom, really.
Today at church, our pastor shared the word that’s over our church for this year: 2012, God Is The Treasure Within Me. I was so encouraged. Encouraged to take to heart what my pastor was saying and make my relationship with the Lord a priority this year. And also just encouraged to be sitting in a room full of other people nodding their heads because they want the same things too.
Suddenly, all my worries about 2012 didn’t seemed so big and scary.
What a blessing.
How many other people do I know, and even people that I don’t know yet could could use some hope and encouragement like that at the beginning of this new year?
Part of my pastor’s message was about how sometimes we have God in our lives, but we keep him hidden away. We know he’s there, but somehow we end up getting so distracted by other things that we never fully realize what we have in Him.
I really want to know God better this year. I really want to remember how blessed I am to have the kind of normal that I have – and remember that it’s Jesus who took my original normal and gave me this better one. And I really want to put God on display more in my life and speak out about what He’s done for me.
2012, I think I’m ready for it.