You’ve probably seen them.
Those side-by-side photos paired on social media to signify the open and close of the decade known as the 20-10s.
Nostalgia sent me to the archives—scanning through the past ten years of our family’s photos.
What a sweet stroll it was.
When the decade opened, we were busy with sports, youth group trips, school clubs, and band. Over the course of those busy years, we celebrated high school graduations and college graduations. Come the close of the decade, we were blessed with the addition of two dear souls to our family by two grand weddings.
A lot changed in those ten fast years.
This reminiscing brought me to some personal introspection, as well.
I opened the new decade with a change in address. However, I spent all of the 20-10s with the same employer. My lifestyle has dramatically changed, since my role as a mother has morphed entirely. And let’s not overlook the physical changes that come with another decade past. The combination of time and life has netted me more wrinkles and gray hair.
I cannot even venture to guess how many words I’ve read . . . or strung together.
I like to think I was cooperative in allowing God to polish off some rough edges. If I were once a block of hard, cold granite. And He, the Master Sculptor, were chiseling away to create, say, a lamb of the Good Shepherd, maybe I gained a stub-of-a-tail? He sure filled in a good many cracks with grace, no doubt.
We’ve experienced much in the world, as well. I googled the headlines of the past ten years. I’m sure many will undergo such a recounting.
Most dreadfully, we’ve seen a steady rise in suicide rates, data breaches, political division, and mass shootings at schools, churches, and synagogues.
Much has changed in these tumultuous ten.
There remains one constant, however—God is eternal.
He has been, and will be, through all of time.
He not only will be, He will be the same. Ever unchanging.
My life will change—as will my roles, abilities, and activities. The world and people will change. But God will be constant and the same. In that truth we can be confident and strong. In that knowledge is peace and power. In Him, there is hope everlasting.
Where will we be at the start of the next decade?
Hopefully still trusting in the Unchangeable I Am.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t expect to be surprised by Him. He often seems willing to do a new thing. And the hope we have in His promises yet to come will come with great stealth.
But besides memories and information, what can I bring forward into the new decade? What can be applied to make me a better disciple?
For from his fullness we have all received,
grace upon grace (Jn 1:16).
It was the grace of God that brought us through the 20-10s. Furthermore, grace is our greatest need in the 20-20s. And when we are gracious toward one another, that’s when the trajectory of mankind inclines, rather than declines. Because grace marks change for the better.
Entering the new year could be a door to enter into God’s grace. A grace that is both received and extended.
What if we viewed His grace as the entryway to a path in which we walk all our days? For to follow the ways of the world is futile and destructive. But, by the power and wisdom of the Spirit and the grace of God, we can follow the kingdom-way of our Lord onto a higher way.
Will we bow to step into it?
So, bring on the 20-20s—where God, in His glorious grace, will meet us, continue to shape us, and lead us onto eternal grace.