"The Only Words That Matter"
If you thought my first post of the year was going to be some cutesy, here-are-my-23-goals-for-2023-and-my-word-of-the-year kind of blog, I hate to break it to you, friend...
But, this ain't that.
In fact, it's anything but.
Today's post is more of a only-two-out-of-my-ten-goals-were-achieved-this-month sort of a post—an I-had-no-idea-the-first-couple-of-weeks-of-the-New-Year-would-be-so-hard kind of blog.
Get the picture?
To state it plainly, today's post is going to be a real, raw, painfully honest post about the first weeks of the New Year—addressed to those of you who feel like you're walking with a limp, a black eye, and a bruised lip. Because, something tells me you need a space to let it out, get real, and recognize that your perfectly-curated social media feed does not at all summarize some pain you may be facing.
I get it.
I understand not even knowing how you got to be where you are today—how it feels to be confused, hurt, and quite frankly, exhausted. I know what it's like wondering how God is going to use something as ugly as...this.
Can you relate?
If not, this may not be the post for you.
But, if so, thank heavens.
Because today's post is dedicated to us all. Those of us who are asking hard questions, experiencing real pain, weighed down by mistakes we've made, and troubled by thoughts we're having.
I'm writing this post to you.
Only this time?
I don't have the words you're looking for.
Nope! In fact, all I have to offer you today is a shoulder for you to cry on.
But, just in case that isn't enough for you, just in case you do need some words of encouragement to get you by—
I don't have the words you need...
but, I know Someone who does.
And, this Someone isn't just interested in giving you some quick, lighthearted pieces of advice.
Instead, this Someone has refreshing, challenging, and life-giving truth to impart into you—into your pain, your questions, your sleepless nights.
I can imagine you already know who this Someone is.
Yeah, you guessed it.
His Name is Jesus.
And, I have nothing to offer you today except for the words He's written to you and me in His classic love letter, words I'm not just giving to you, but words I'm setting out to meditate on myself. These words are the only words that matter, the only words that are going to get you and me through it. And, these words, I want to share with you today.
You ready? Take it in:
"You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!"
— Isaiah 26:3
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed."
— Psalm 34:18
"7 Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,
for my depression deepens.
Don’t turn away from me,
or I will die.
8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to you."
— Psalm 145:7-8
"5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take."
— Proverbs 3:5-6
"The Lord says,
“Then I will heal you of your faithlessness;
my love will know no bounds,
for my anger will be gone forever."
— Hosea 14:4
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."
— James 1:2-4
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."
— Philippians 4:6
"And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God."
— Ephesians 3:18-19
In summary, God's got it.
Don't give up just yet.