The End of a Decade


So, the end of another decade has come. Remember when we weren't sure we'd survive Y2K?

So what have you accomplished this decade? Are you a better person than you were ten years ago? Have you internalized those lessons, grown from the disappointments, and made lemon slushies out of the sour events?
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Or has life gotten the better of you?
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Are you more cynical? More critical? Angrier? More confused than ever and not sure it's worth it?
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This past decade has brought me more heartache and stress than the previous three. Death after death of close family members, a near-fatal accident for my third child leaving her with a lifetime of handicap, building a house, job losses, betrayal by our eldest child, unemployment three times...Blow after blow, the list goes on, sometimes leaving me wondering if I can get up one more time.
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Bitterness always hunkers in the wings, waiting for that weak moment, that lowering of defenses, ready to pounce and take me captive. Anxiety can easily take up permanent residence and displace the peace I once thought I owned.
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Nothing steals joy like anger. Anger is like a slow leak in an old tire, keeping you defeated, lifeless, useless for anything but putting one foot in front of the other. You become a deflated caricature of the vibrant person God wants you to be.
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We say we're angry at circumstances, angry at injustice, the unfairness of life. But if we take a long hard look at it, we're angry at God. After all, we preach about Him being in charge. If He's in charge, than He's responsible for everything that we think has gone wrong. And it's really Him we're angry with.
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He has let us down, we think. We trusted Him and look what happened. We have a right to be angry. What happened wasn't right.
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What has come to mind as you read this? If you're angry or cynical or bitter, you already know why. It's right there, flirting with your subconscious whether you admit it or not. That painful event. The devastating tragedy that has sucked the life right out of you. Are you merely hurt---or are you really angry?
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Are you ending this decade angry or cynical at God?
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The next decade does not have to be a repeat of the last. Maintaining anger at God is like crimping your oxygen tube. You can do it, but you're only hurting yourself by cutting off the life-giving source you need.
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Yes, God let something painful happen to you. He let something painful happen to His Son, too. But it was for a reason, a bigger reason than the pain it caused. And if you trust him with your pain, He will turn the pain into something beautiful.
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Let go of it. Quit trying to be God. Quit thinking you have to understand. You may not, at least on this side of Heaven.But you can embrace the beauty that God creates from your old hurts.
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If you want the new decade to be better than the last, be careful you don't drag last year's garbage into the new one. It's not turning over a new leaf. It's letting go of the armful of old leaves you've gathered and refused to burn.
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Goodbye, 2009, with all your sorrow and pain. Welcome 2010.
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Go with God!
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