As we near the end of the year, I can’t help but reflect. Actually, even social media outlets engage in this practice by previewing one’s “Year in Review,” and other opportunities to peruse the highlights of one’s year through a pictorial representation. Certainly said collages are beautiful and perhaps bring us great joy, but I find that at this point in my journey, I’m more concerned about God’s year in reflection with me. Would I in fact make His highlight reel? How often did I pop up in His timeline? How often was I shared with others so beautifully as He meticulously crafted opportunities for me to meet pings of His creation to share His goodness, or just to be able to be an encourager to someone else through words, actions, even a smile? Am I still on His friend list or did He have to block me through denying me something I really wanted or dare I say, even lusted after in order to get my attention? That is the deepened analysis that the Father is seeking, and while I am pleased to be in relationship with you, I must divert my attention to the keeper of my soul, whilst ensuring I am not secretly harboring soul ties with you.
When an artist displays their creation, it is representative of what they consider (or their agent) the best of their artistic expression. As a consumer, we are left to wonder what hit as they say, “the cutting room floor.” What was left as a draft or discarded? When we consider our year in review with God, those are the aspects that if truth were told, we may not be so forthcoming to share, yet those are the tangible experiences that God has allowed to not only bless and strengthen us, but those around us as well. My sickness that permeated a significant amount of time in 2017 was in fact what made me appreciate menial tasks such as making it through an entire day with an appropriate amount of energy, or not being in a constant state of pain. In the midst, I had to stand upon Isaiah 46:4: “Even to your old age I am He, And even to your advanced old age I will carry you! I have made you, and I will carry you; Be assured I will carry you and I will save you.” While celebrating the accomplishments of friends’ young adults and the jobs they were assuming, not to mention writing recommendations for students I work with and receiving good news regarding the fruit of their labor, I was praying and encouraging our daughter who was having a less than stellar work experience and feeling discouraged looking for a return on her investment. II Corinthians 12:9 affirms, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Writing a book about being a Worshipper in the Workplace does not make one exempt from situations that require one to worship in their own workplace. This year, the intensity of my position, coupled with the daily realities and reminders of living in a world that perpetuates violence, particularly, violence against women made my work and the expectations around my work sometimes unbearable. However, Colossians 3:23 reminds us that we are working unto the Lord and not for human masters. In my workplace I had to remind and encourage myself of this fact. These examples are the ones that God is most concerned about as these are those which will bless and encourage others. These examples are the ones that serve as evidence to the doubters, the haters, the ones who stand in opposition to the demonstration of the move of God in our lives!
Did we pray more in 2017? Did we praise more? What about worship? Did we develop a closure relationship with our Creator? Did we stand upon His Word? Did we serve in a different capacity? Did we extend more grace to others? What about forgiveness? Did we relinquish the need to always be right? These are the questions that assist in God’s Year in Review when it comes to us. To be sure, the year is not yet over, and God is still working. We cannot loose faith in the promises of God. Everything doesn’t happen according to the time table that we’ve determined. We must assume a ‘If God said it” then “I believe it” practice. Whatever happens or does not happen during the course of a year cannot diminish our belief in God. What is critical is our posture as we wait for the things God whispered, or we whispered to Him on last New Year’s Eve. As my sister in Christ and Soror sang this week, “Even when we don’t see Him, He’s Working, and even when we don’t feel Him, He’s working. He never stops, He never stops working!” God has worked throughout 2017! For everything we’ve encountered, God has seen fit to see us through. How might we reciprocate? We can start by doing everything we can to remain in good standing with Him. In other words, to make His highlight reel, His year in review, let us continue to remain in His View.