2018: Where is God in broken dreams, shattered hopes and shaken faith?

I have a ritual that I do with the Lord every year. Before New Year's Day, I like to ask Him to define the year ahead with a verse, a word... something that He could equip me with. You can read about my reflection post in 2017, which was defined as the year of victories (how can there be victories if there are no battles?). I was really excited at the start of 2018 when He told me that it was going to be a year of new beginnings, but I didn't realise that new beginnings mean things have got to end.

The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. (Ecclesiastes 1:5)

If God does not give us what we want, He is giving us what we need.

This is something that I grapple with the most. The beginning of my Christian faith was full of fulfilled wishes and answered prayers. The Christian life was SO rosy, so easy and so fun! God 'felt' so real to me back then because whatever I asked for, even before thinking of it, came true.

I remember getting lost with a group of friends in Sentosa. My legs were hurting so much and I briefly thought, "Oh, how I wish someone could send us back to Harbourfront!"

A car then slowly pulled up beside us. The driver rolled down the window. He asked if we would like a ride to Harbourfront. For a moment I thought this driver was a mind-reader!

It didn't stop there: I won trips to Europe, First Class tickets, iPads, Sou vide Machines, thermal rice cookers and more. But... what happens when all of these stops?

This year, I was hoping for a renewed relationship with my partner after 6-7 years. One of my dreams was to start a cafe, but it sadly didn't come to pass. I also wanted to be a farmer, but my application was a day too late. I wanted to get a license for something but I failed twice. I wanted the news of cancer to not be true. I wanted to spend more time with her. My ex-boss left work in less than a week. I still couldn't find a church to settle in. It was a year that felt really confusing, stressful, messy and painful. Although I did not lose hope, I felt quite lost.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
What really shook me was that something ended before it even got started. The possibilities just left me hanging on a thread - there seemed like there was hope and so I prayed everyday and night. I prayed that God will make a move. I prayed that something good will happen out of it. But there was no response. It was a lot of "Why God" and "Where are you God" when He goes silent. But I learned to love and pray even when it is hard. I learned how King David must have struggled so hard, how Job must have felt, and how Jesus Himself came down to show how He loves and understands us by going through all of these. As the Bible says, 

Romans 5:3-5 English Standard Version (ESV)

3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Just because the sun is hidden by all the bamboo trees, it doesn't mean that the sun is not there.

Where is God in suffering?

As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs for thee. (Psalm 42:1)

Why does God allow people to suffer? Sometimes I think suffering causes us to seek God. In times of trouble, I will reach out to God for His help. It's the devil and our own sinful choices that make us suffer. God is always at work in healing, restoring and loving. Even when it doesn't seem like it, God is always here for us. The fact that you're reading this now is a message from God telling you that He is here for you!

As the "year of new beginnings" come to an end, I am very grateful to God for the opportunity to draw closer to Him, gain new knowledge of Him and love Him more and more each day.

Not sure what 2019 is going to be like, but I am full of hope.

Thank you for loving me, Jesus.
2018: Where is God in broken dreams, shattered hopes and shaken faith? 2018: Where is God in broken dreams, shattered hopes and shaken faith? Reviewed by Littletinysun on 11:54:00 PM Rating: 5

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