Thoughts on New Years or (an Everchanging World with a Neverchanging God)

2008 was a year of change.

No, I’m not talking about political slogans.

But it was a year of change. For me.

2008 is the year that I went from high school to college, from status of a minor to a legal adult, from living with my mom to living with my friend, from fleeting romance to enduring love. It was a year of change for me. Many great changes are yet to come in my life, but changes such as I have experienced this year are few through life — at least as I imagine it.

I think the biggest thing I learned in 2008 is that I rely on circumstances to define me. When I left for college, everything around me changed and I felt as if the ground had dropped out beneath me. This means I wasn’t standing on the right thing. I learned that I need to push toward living as David did, “Yahweh is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge.” (Psalm 18:2) I stood on my circumstances (being a senior in school, a leader in church, an actor on stage, etc.), but what I need is to stand on the LORD. He must be the One that defines me. He must be the One “in whom I take refuge.” In Him and nothing else.

This is another thing I’ve learned this year. Note that we take refuge in God, not Him in us. Often times a person will say that they want God to be in their life, but that’s not what the psalm says. We mustn’t try putting God into our life. I assure if this “god” can fit comfortably inside of your life he is not Yahweh. Yahweh God is far too big to fit nicely inside of a person’s life. We must put our life in Him. We must take refuge in Him. He is the fortress which we stand inside of. You may not see it, but the difference is God being included versus God being exalted. It is God being part (finite) versus God being all (infinite). Yahweh is a limitless God and it is in Him that we must put ourselves.

So, after the midnight celebration, after the fireworks, after the sparkling cider I sat down and started thinking about how much has changed for me this past year. I began to think about how much is always changing. Whether it be gas prices, age, maturity, society, culture, situations, people — anything. Stuff is always changing. Everywhere. All over.

Then, I opened up my bible. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. I just thought that reading scripture would be a good way to spend the first few hours of 2009. I was flipping through and got to Psalm 136. A psalm about  how God is unchanging. A psalm about how His love has, does, and will endure forever. I present you with this psalm now and hope that no matter what changes you may face in 2009 you will know that Yahweh‘s love endures forever.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.

who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.

who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.

who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.

the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.

the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.

and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.

with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

to him who divided the Red Sea in two
His love endures forever.

and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.

but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

to him who led his people through the desert,
His love endures forever.

who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.

and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.

Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.

and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.

and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.

an inheritance to his servant Israel;
His love endures forever.

to the One who remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.

and freed us from our enemies,
His love endures forever.

and who gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

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