A Three Word Encouragement for the New Year

Susan Narjala   |   January 7, 2021 

As I write this post, it’s the last day of a year that has almost turned into a cuss word – and, boy, I’m tired.

I’m so darned tired that for the first time in years, despite there being no social distancing rules in my city, I’m staying home on New Year’s Eve. (Well, that could also stem from the fact that I’m squarely and unequivocally in my 40’s, but still…)

I’m tired of my lack of focus this last year. I’m tired of headlines that make my heart race. I’m tired of the mundaneness. I’m tired of worrying about the people I love falling prey to the virus. I’m tired from watching too much Netflix and swiping through too many stories on the ‘Gram (that’s my feeble attempt at not sounding 40-something). I’m tired of masks (even the cute ones) and hand sanitisers (that have an uncanny knack of getting lost). I’m tired of far too many failed diets. I’m tired of having dreams deferred.

And I know I’m not alone in my tiredness.

Friend, maybe you’re navigating a soul weariness that you can’t seem to shake off. Maybe the last year has left you feeling pillaged and plundered. Maybe opportunities were stolen and your carefully-laid-out plans lie in ruins.

I was reading about a group of people who found their entire lives upended all of a sudden. In 1 Samuel 30, David and his men return from battle only to find their lives in complete ruin. The passage says they found their homes “destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.” The Amalekites had attacked their homes while the men were away. It was possibly their worst nightmare coming true. The passage goes on to say, “So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.”

I can picture that horrific scene: A city in ashes with 600 strong, battle-hardened warriors weeping uncontrollably – till they could weep no longer.

But then there’s a glimmer of hope.

In verse 6 it says that in the midst of great distress, even while his own life under threat, “David found strength in the Lord his God.”

God orchestrates a series of events for David and his men to contend with and capture the Amalekites.

But more than the victory in battle, what stood out for me was the beauty of restoration.

God restored everything. He brought everything back, down to the last detail - "young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken."

I absolutely love these three words from the passage: “Nothing was missing.” (1 Samuel 30: 19)

Nothing. Was. Missing.

Friends, we have a God who promises to restore the years that the locusts have eaten. (Joel 2: 25).

It may not happen on our timeline (actually, it almost always doesn’t). It may not happen in the way we've chalked out (again, it almost always doesn’t).

But He is a God of restoration. When we are in Him, He ensures that nothing is missing.

Not the dreams that seem to be in fragments.

Not the time that seems to be pillaged.

Not the roads that seem plundered.

Not the longings that seem squashed.

Not the hopes that seem to be hanging by a thread.

As we begin this new year, let’s put our hand in the hand of a God who promises to restore and to make all things new.

I'd love to leave you with these three words of encouragement for 2021: with God, nothing is missing.

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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When she's not smuggling chocolate past her kids or drinking gallons of coffee, Susan Narjala can be found writing, baking and (thinking about) working out. She grew up in Chennai, lived in Portland, Oregon, for the last ten years and is now back in India with her family. She finds nuggets of humour in the everyday, and writes about it on on her blog, www.susannarjala.com

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