How to Finish the Year Well: Plant, Don’t Bury

SCRIPTURE

Isaiah 41:18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

DEVOTION

6 days…

That’s how many days we have left of 2022.

I’m not sure how this makes you feel, dear friend – whether this fills you with joy and excitement for the new year, or anxiety and regret over the year past. I’m not sure whether this year has been a good year for you, or whether it has been a hard year. I’m not sure of the joys you have experienced, nor of the trials, you have endured.

Yet what I am sure of is that we have an opportunity to take the next 6 days to reflect with the Lord on our year – and by reflecting, to finish it strong.

But, why should we reflect?

The pace of life that we’re currently living in is so fast that we generally don’t take the time to stop, reflect, and process all that has happened. We tend to move on quickly from things, not acknowledging how we feel, and burying things away never to be dealt with.

When we do this, we end up operating through the lens of our undealt with emotions. It’s like our glasses get foggier and foggier the less we clean them, and then the way we see ourselves, people, and life all get tainted.

And so, it is good for us to be intentional with examining these moments and to deal with them so that we may see clearly and so that we may grow from them.

Instead of burying the hard moments and forgetting all about them, what we can do is to plant them. This is simply a change in our mindset, dear friend! When we think of planting (or reflecting on) our hard moments, what we’re doing is we’re allowing them to cause us to grow and to eventually bear fruit for the future.

The one passage on my heart for this process of reflecting is Isaiah 41:18:
‘I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.’

See how God has a remarkable way of utterly transforming things! What might look impossible is possible for Him. Making rivers in the bare heights? He can do that. Bringing a pool of water into the wilderness? Yes, He can do that too!

It is the same for our lives, dear friend. Hard moments? He can bring goodness from them. Experienced pain and heartache? He can heal that.

Over the next week, we will be jumping into some things we can do to reflect on the year. As we do this, let us remember that the Lord can transform the hard and painful moments in our lives. When we intentionally process them, we allow God to use them to cause us to grow.

One day, the wilderness we see in our lives will become a land flowing with springs of water; and what we have planted will bear fruit.

Today’s devotion was based on a message by Community+. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coB0UrOEA80&t=1480s

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

What stood out to you from today’s devotion? Reflect on this with the Lord today.

  1. We have a tendency to bury things and not deal with them. But to grow, we need to plant them!
  2. If we don’t intentionally reflect, the lens through which we see ourselves, people, and lives get tainted.
  3. God has a remarkable way of transforming the hard things in our lives and using them for our growth.
  4. OTHER

PRAYER

Lord God,

Thank You for being the One who is able to do the impossible in our lives. You are the One who transforms the hard and painful moments and uses them for our growth.

As I spend the next week reflecting on the year just gone, I pray that You would guide me to the things You want me to focus on. Please bring healing and perspective to me, Holy Spirit.

I commit this final week of 2022 into Your hands.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

PRAYER POINTERS

Pray for a friend today. Perhaps you could also invite them to reflect on the year with you?

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