December 31

Written by Bill Grandi on December 31st, 2018

Warning: This post will be a bit longer than normal.

The final day of 2018. It is hard to believe this year has ended. For me? Seemingly so quickly. I’ve already decided looking back is not something I’m going to do. I know there have been victories. I know there have been defeats. I’ve had highs and lows. I’ve had moments of growth. I’ve had moments where I feel like I’ve gone backwards. But I had already concluded what Tripp put so much better into words than I was able to articulate:

God’s work in me is a process, not an event. It progresses not in three or four huge moments, but in ten thousand little moments of change.

I would be foolish to think that life-my spiritual life-would be one big growth chart. Honestly, I can’t look back and see one or two or three big significant events in my year that I can point to and says, “That’s it! That’s the turning point!!” It is more like Tripp writes:

…the transforming work of grace is more of a mundane process than a series of a few dramatic events. Personal heart and life change is always a process…It takes place where I live everyday.

Each day I make a choice. Each day I wake up and make a choice whether I will give control TO God or take control FROM God. Each day is part of the process of molding me and shaping me. I was molded and shaped this past year. By little events.  The divorce of a friend. The failing marriage of another where I was called incompetent; a poor excuse for a pastor and counselor; among other things. The excitement of several weddings. Watching Ryan grow and falter and grow some more. Spending time with my grandson and watching him grow up and mature. Watching love happen to two people I care deeply about. Grateful people who expressed their thanks when I badly needed it. A deepening friendship with “3 Feet Dave” as Jo calls him. Riding more this year than I have in several recent years. An awareness of the creeping scepter of growing old, but enjoying life in spite of the aches and pains. Still in love with the wife of my youth (and neither one of us fit that bill today). A developing friendship with a cancer patient who will soon be home with Jesus unless a miracle occurs.

A thousand little moments with a BAM! or two, but mostly little ones. Each one forming my character. Each one bringing to mind several Scriptures:

“He must increase; I must decrease.” John 3:30

“The eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth looking for hearts fully committed to Him.”  2 Chron.16:9

May my 2019 be a testimony to the changes God is making in my life-little by little, day by day, little moment by little moment.

“Father, I pray my new year is further testimony to your goodness and grace. 2018 is history. I can’t change a thing. But you can go with me as I navigate the new year. Only you know what’s coming. I will trust. ‘The Lord is my life and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ AMEN. “


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Indeed, Bill, it is all those small moments that add up to our growth in Christ. Maybe we can’t even see it at the time, but it’s happening constantly when we let Jesus increase as we decrease.

  2. Ryan S. says:

    I spent a good deal of time this morning reflecting on 2018. To be honest, I had a bit of a foul mood after I woke up. I won’t go into details, but it is a good thing I was up by myself for the first hour and had an opportunity to do my devotion.

    I decided to spend time reviewing some of my journal entries from the year. I also decided to write down some of this year’s “firsts”.

    1) Began journaling
    2) Took my first weekend retreat by myself.
    3) My eldest child left the nest

    I would definitely agree with both your assessment and Tripp’s assessment of change being primarily small and incremental vs moments of HUGE change.

    I won’t deny that sudden and HUGE changes can occur… Saul –> Paul on the road to Damascus, thought I would probably think the moment by moment living life next to Jesus for several years probably impacted the disciples as much if not more.

    I have had a couple of moments that flipped my world on it’s head, though it was the moment by moment, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day encounters and living life that really produces the change.

    My goal this year is to not focus as much on EVENTS… but to count each moment as an important step toward where God is molding me to be.