Goodbye 2012. Hello 2013!

The ball has dropped and now it is officially 2013! Will it be anything like 2012 I wonder?
 
2012 for me was filled with twists, turns, ups, and downs. I started this blog a year ago this month. It has definitely given me an outlet to get some things out of my head and into the world. I have watched my children grow, both physically and spiritually. I have witnessed miracles. I have witnessed pure evil in this world, both afar and close at home. I have spent countless hours in prayer for my husband, my children, my church, friends, strangers, this nation and the world. My family and I made it through 2012 without any major health issues. I have made new friends. I have cried a lot and laughed a lot. I have been blessed.
 
As I was reading one of my devotionals this morning this quote by Joyce Meyer stood out. She said, “Contentment with life is not a feeling, but it is a decision we must make.” Contentment is what got me through 2012. I had been actively praying and seeking a way to be content in everything and thankfully, that prayer was answered in 2012. Had that prayer not been answered, I would probably be in a very different place going into 2013.
 
As we drove to a friend’s ranch this past week, I was intrigued once again by the trees that grow right along the creek beds. These trees always stand out to me because in rural areas, there is complete flatness and then out of nowhere, there is a pathway of trees…always by the water. This image hits me often even as I drive jut north of our house. Every time I see it, I am reminded of two things: God’s creation is perfect and God-sustaining and there is life where there is water.
God thought of every detail when he formed creation (see Genesis 1 and 2). Water provides life for everything, including the trees along the creek banks. And, as I saw recently, those trees then serve as a natural shelter for animals from the heat and rain and as natural places for them to nest and find food. On farms and ranches, as one moves further from the creek, the land becomes flat and dry. Man-made inventions then become necessary to water the fields, especially in the years of drought. Even though man can invent irrigation and sprinkler systems, it is still God who provides the water. We haven’t been able to figure out that one yet. The water must always come from somewhere.
 
In the prophet Jeremiah’s day, he received a message from the Lord that said, “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13) It appears this issue of water has been going on for thousands of years. The Israelites were turning their backs on God and worshipping false idols. They gave up on their “living water” and instead tried to capture rainwater in broken, dirty and rotten cisterns. They put their hopes in all the wrong places. I think we often do this still today.
 
My hope for 2013 rests in Jeremiah 17:8, “They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” I claim this promise for myself, my family and my brothers and sisters in Christ. May our roots grow deeper and stronger wherever we are and wherever we go. However, I also claim it for those who do not yet know Jesus. I pray that this year their roots will finally be planted firmly in the one and only true Living Water – the water that gives eternal life.
 
It all starts with a decision….

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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