As we embark on a new adventure (a new year), a few things are certain: this year is going to change us...and none of us knows yet what that looks like.
Sure, by now, most of us have some ideas of changes we'd like to make in our own lives, but we have also lived enough new years to know that just because these are the changes we want, that doesn't mean they are the changes that we will get. Even those who woke up this weekend with all of the resolve in the world will at some point come upon factors that are simply beyond their control.
Now, if we are a people of faith, then there are other things that we know for certain: that God is always working things together for the good of those who love Him...and that God seems to be a master at really changing things. At really changing us.
Which is why one of the most common phrases in all of Scripture is a good place to start a new adventure:
Do not be afraid.
Don't be afraid. And actually, there's not much reason to be afraid. Look at all the things that we know. We know that things are going to change and that things are going to change us. We know that God is good and that He works things together for our good. And we know that God has always made His story work out just the way that He wanted to. The only thing we're not sure of is what exactly that looks like for us. Right now.
We've talked about this before, but it's one of those things that is always worth talking about again - most of us are afraid of how God's going to change us. Of what He's going to do with our lives. We're afraid because we read the big stories - of sacrificing a son, of building a boat, of carrying a child out of wedlock, and we think, Man, God. Please not me. We're afraid that God is going to ask some big, wild, crazy thing of us that we're just not ready for.
By the way, what that means is...we're afraid. The very thing God told us not to be, and the very thing we have no reason to be.
What we often lose sight of is the magnificent glory that came out of every single one of these stories. What we lose sight of is the beautiful, wonderful, amazing way that these things always work out. What we often lose sight of is the chance that change offers us to play a really cool part in the unfolding story of God.
If you've read my second book, you know how I re-imagined our response to these would-be terrifying moments of change in our lives: every single one of these characters has gasped, "Oh, my God...is here."
So, too, must we.
For He is here, indeed, and He's ready to do something new through us. He's ready to change us, for the sake of His glory. He's ready to move as we live and have our being. And with everything we know for sure - particularly, His goodness - the truth is, we really have nothing to be afraid of. God is good. God is ready. God is on the move.
Oh, my God...is here.