As my wife and I read from the book of Amos this morning, we saw the prophet of God having to remind the children of Israel of the marvelous works He had done for them. In spite of all the miracles, the Israelites had turned away from God and pursued the world, absorbed by their own selfish desires.
We thought about how so many of the kings of Israel and Judah had started well, but finished poorly. We see the theme repeated time and again that men of God fall away in their walk with God, and it is always the desires of the world and lusts of men that lead them astray. No one is immune. We are all subject to these temptations.
The Bible is full of these examples, and God is always having to remind His people of the things that He has done, as if we should forget! So today, as we close out 2016, we devote ourselves to Psalm 105.
Psalm 105:1-6 Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth, oh seed of Abraham His servant, you children of Jacob, His chosen ones!
So, should we not talk of all His wondrous works? I could talk of how He called my wife and I toward obedience in baptism many years ago, setting ourselves apart for service to Him. I could talk of the trials that have taken place inside my family that have forced us to turn our hearts toward Him for our strength and refuge. I could talk of how He placed us in the midst of believers who have helped to strengthen our relationship with God. I could speak of His leading us into foster care and the amazing ways he loved us in the midst of some heartbreaking trials. I would love to talk about how He changed my heart toward adoption and changed our lives by bringing us an amazing little boy. I am amazed at how he has developed the character of each person in our family through the addition of Isaac to our house. Let’s talk about how God worked through the wise men in leadership positions of the church to help develop those gifts that God had entrusted to me. Maybe we should talk about how God has prepared me for my current calling by placing me in a position to lead a family company through a very difficult transition. Certainly we must talk about how God has affirmed our calling to Uganda when all the wisdom of men and the desires of my heart begged us to stay at home in my current job. Can we talk about the miracles of financial provision for each of the things God has called us to?
Me and my house? We will write the things that God has done. We will review them with our children, and we will hope that our children will review them with their children. God has proven Himself faithful time and again. He has loved us and developed us as only He could. As we have made our feeble attempts to decrease our desires for success and possessions, He has placed in us new desires that go against what the world has taught us. God has loved us in spite of us, has regenerated us, has taught us through His Word, has placed a new desire in our heart, and has given us the desires of our hearts when they have aligned with His will. We are still just sinful people who are prone to wander from Him in preference of our selfish desires. That is why we will write these things and remember Him for who He is and the great love He has shown us.
2016 will always be a year to remember. It has been a year of transition, and wholesale change for our family. We are not the same as we were, and this change can only be attributed to God. I could never have imagined that God would have led us to this point, and it makes me excited to see what He has in store. Trust me when I say that I am simply not the man that I was raised to be, not the man I was 10 years ago, and not the man I was 5 years ago. We are not the same family, either.
My house will do our best to forget the successes of the world, and write down to remember the successes of God as He used us. We will do this because we know that our hearts will lead us astray, and there will come a time that we will need to look back on all that God has done. What will you write down for 2016, and will you teach the lessons you learned through your trials and God’s triumphs?