When I was a kid, one of my favorite things about sitting in class was the possibility that the teacher might decide that the chalkboard was filthy enough that it needed to be cleaned. After that it was a lottery between 24 students all wiggling and contorting at their desks to see who could make their arm stretch the longest. If you happened to be the one chosen to help, there was something therapeutic about taking that dusty and marked up board and wiping it down so that it was back to its beautiful black or green color. Once that board was clean there was something amazing about watching chalk glide over it...and we all wanted to mark it up...with something, anything! Sure it was frustrating seeing things get erased and a new layer of chalk dust coating the board. It got dustier and dustier with every day and eventually the excitement of the clean board was gone...it was just a board with the latest difficult homework assignment looming on it.
It's a new year....a beautifully clean blank slate where anything is possible....and a new countdown has begun. The countdown to the first argument, the first nasty driver, the first bad day at work...the first unexpected funeral. We don't know when or what the things are that will mark up our board....but we know that it's just a matter of time. The secret to peace isn't trying to dodge all the things that can mark you up...and the sign of success isn't having a clean board. The secret to peace isn't even really a secret. Jesus TOLD us in John 16 that we were going to face horribly hard and painful things, not to discourage us and put a damper on things, but to basically say, "I've got your back..." He is there to wipe our board clean every single day, multiple times a day....as needed. We don't have to wait till a new calendar year. He is greater than all the things used to mark us up...so don't get discouraged by the stuff that comes at you, instead, expect it and let the cool water of peace wash over you everyday as you ask your heavenly Father to refresh you.
I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order. John 16:33 (the voice)
Joy All Ways
Joy All Ways