It’s that time of the year when many of us reflect on the joys and sorrows of the last 12 months. This year’s politicians were unmerciful in shouting, “Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?” often quoting employment rates, home foreclosures and net worth to prove their partisan points.
I listened to the political pundits debate, but I wanted to scream, “You are asking the wrong question! Being “better off” doesn’t mean having more money, bigger houses, or better cars. It’s easy to measure “value” when all you think of is counting money, but that’s the wrong question. The right question is, “Are you closer to God than you were four years ago?”
Rather than look at the balance in my bank account, I am choosing to reflect back on the last four years in other areas of my life. I had my share of struggles: surgery for breast cancer, blurry vision, a divorce, a 2nd lien on a house to pay lawyer’s fees, estrangement from my ex-husband’s family, anonymous letters, the death of loved ones and many friends who needed financial help. My bank account suffered through these past four years, but in reflection, all my struggles brought me closer to God.
It was in 2008 that I started intentionally listening and hearing God’s voice. Now I have wonderful church friends who reach out to help me when I am in emotional and spiritual need, and I’m able to use my spiritual gifts in a Bible-based, loving church by participating in the healing prayer and confirmation class ministries. I learned about unconditional acceptance and forgiveness on four trips to South Africa, and in 2010, I started my blog, Agatha Nolen- On Relationships. Last week I finished my first novel, CHASING MY FATHER, to share some of my experiences with others as God has asked us to go and spread the Good News to the ends of the world.
From a monetary standpoint, I’ve had rough days in the past four years where I’ve struggled, but I am much closer to God recognizing what is really important in my life: my relationship with Him. In Hebrews 13:5-6 we learn:
“Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote,
God is there, ready to help;
I’m fearless no matter what.
Who or what can get to me?”
Compared to four years ago, are you closer to God? If not, start today and plan to say a resounding “YES!” in 2016.
Blessings, my friend,