Well, church, it has been a year now where we have been looking at stories of the faithful followers of God in the pages of Scripture. Not only have we looked at their successes, but we have seen that even the most faithful of the disciples still erred, sinned, and made mistakes. We have seen how they came back to God for grace again and again.
We looked at the story of Esther and her boldness in the midst of impossible circumstances, actions which ultimately saved her people.
We looked at the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and how remarkable her journey was as she trusted in God and raised Jesus, as well as how “a sword pierced her very soul” as she had to watch her son die a torturous death on the cross.
Together we journeyed through only some of the stories of the Apostle Peter, and how he stumbled and bumbled his way along as he followed Jesus, but how the Lord used him nonetheless to grow and sustain the church of Jesus.
Throughout the year we looked at stories of the Patriarchs, Jeremiah, Joseph, a number of children mentioned in Scripture as well as the siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
What a year!
So what has your year been like? Many of us have gone through all manor of things. Illness, surgeries, deaths of loved ones, a global pandemic, lockdowns, isolation, financial hardships, mental illness, doubt, fear, lost jobs and new jobs, marriage struggles, parenting issues, and a whole host of other challenges have been felt by people just in our church community, not to mention all the issues of the world around us.
As I reflect on our theme for this past year, I am inspired by how the people we studied in the pages of the Bible went through tremendous hardships as well as they sought to follow God. They struggled along, and they had their own issues to deal with. Sometimes when we think about those who are deemed “faithful”, we think they must have been perfect. We think they belong in some metaphorical trophy case of perfect Christians, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Their faithfulness was not because of their perfection, but because of the perfection of the one they trusted and put their faith in. Yes, many did extraordinary things, but not because they were so great but simply because they trusted in a God who IS so great.
So no matter what you carry in your heart and mind as you reflect on the past year, remember that Jesus is worth trusting, and keep putting one foot in front of the other as you continue to follow Him.