Dr. Phil: Well another year is nearly in the history books. Though not as old as some (yet), I have been on this life journey for enough decades to notice something – some years are just better than others. Granted, that is not very profound, but I think it is helpful to remember what “success” is or how to define it in one of those “not so great” years.
What got me thinking along this line was Paul’s words in Eph. 6:13-14, “Therefore put on the full armor of God. So that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then. . .” Hmm, when you have done everything. . . stand. We often think of success as accomplishing something great or reaching our goals, but seldom do we want to admit that sometimes just remaining standing at the end of the battle can be quite a feat of accomplishment.
For those who have experienced the “day of evil” that Paul describes, this comes as no surprise. As I watched some of the aftermath of recent hurricanes, those houses that remained standing – regardless of how battered and bruised – were a statement to survival. “Success” or a what could be defined as a “good year” needs to be evaluated against the battle we have come through, not some arbitrary standard of success.
Perhaps this last year has seen you endure one or more storms in your life. Remember that “standing your ground” after the storm passes and the dust settles is a victory in itself! Even with the full armor on, sometimes that is the best we can do and Paul reminds us that just standing is success from God’s perspective – not giving up or losing faith.
If this past year was one of moving forward for you and seeing great things accomplished in your professional or personal life, we all rejoice with you. If, however, it was more of a year when you were just able to remain standing at the end of it, don’t lose hope. The faith that enabled you to stand firm will also enable you to move forward in the future. The day will come again when you feel the wind at your back and the sun on your face.
Talking about standing, we are so appreciative of our financial and prayer partners who have stood with us. The last few years we have experienced several challenges as a ministry, but have done our best to take this advice to stand firm. As we look to the future, we are encouraged that after having stood firm, there is an expectation of fruit and good things ahead in 2019. One thing we are looking forward to is meeting together in Wittenberg with all our coaches – those leaders and friends who have been walking the journey with us for many years (you can read more of this on page 3). After some nearly thirty years, thank you for still being part of our journey and standing with us.