Psalm 119:71 (MSG)
My troubles turned out all for the best--
They forced me to learn from your textbook.
For some reason when I was posting this verse I thought of lyrics to the old Garth Brooks' song, The Dance. In the song he says, "I would've missed the pain, but I'd've had to miss the dance." In a way that's what this verse is saying.
January is a month for focusing on what's to come, like yesterday when I wrote about choosing a word for the coming year. But it's also a month for thinking about the year that's just passed. Perhaps 2010 was a painful year for you. Perhaps your troubles-- as today's verse says-- forced you to turn to God's textbook, His Word. As you faced things too big for you to handle, you went to Him for guidance, comfort, wisdom. You grew closer to God as a result. As my pastor said in a recent sermon, "Trouble will make you look for God."
My friend Rachel shared with me that she has always looked back at the year that was and named it. Maybe as you evaluate what your year was like and what you learned from it, you can name your year as well. With half of 2010 spent without Curt's income, I would name our year the year of Reliance. We went to Him with our every need, and found Him faithful. Our troubles turned out all for the best. We looked for God harder than we ever have. And we found Him in His promises, His peace, and His people.