Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Declaring the Year of Jubilee

We’re coming off of a rather rough year, my family and I, my friends and I. And as 2011 was drawing to a close and 2012 showing signs of promise, I started evaluating.  I wanted to figure out what I had done to contribute to or cause all one of the struggles that we experienced. I wanted to make a list of all the things I must change to make sure 2012 is a better year. This actually started somewhere near the month of May when my husband’s security clearance came through clearing the way for a new job with a heftier-than-we-were-comfortable-with commute. It continued as we thought about growing our family and I became pregnant. It culminated when I lost the baby to miscarriage and all the plans that we thought were set became unglued. Perhaps culminated is the wrong word there. It culminated when dear friends experienced the loss of their little girl after a wait for which there are no words. That brought back memories and grief I would have sworn were worked through. And I ended up grasping for control of my life, making plans, assuming guilt. Walking in a dark place.
As December wore on, I thought. As a disclaimer, “over-thinker” is a word created for me. I think about a lot of stuff—who makes my kid’s clothes, how the cow who gives the milk we drink was treated, what God is thinking when awful things happen.
It has the potential to make a person crazy. It was making me crazy. I was taking on far more guilt than I should have for what was happening.  I was assuming a great deal of control and responsibility for children in China, and cows in Wisconsin—not that I should not have been aware of such things and acting responsibly with what I knew, but  to blame myself for the struggles we were going through on the decisions we made regarding those things was more than my heart and mind could handle.
As I struggled through all these thoughts, God in His generous mercy began leading me on an adventure, and for that adventure I have a title and a declaration. 

2012 will be my Year of Jubilee!
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
2 To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,  
3 To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. 

Isaiah wrote this description of the year of jubilee, and Jesus said that He fulfilled it. So I am claiming it; and working toward it. Won't you join me over the next few months as I meditate on this and make 2013 a year I am looking forward to because I've experienced the favorable year of the Lord?

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