Last night we went outside to ring in the New Year with a few fireworks. As always, when you light a firework, you never know what you’re going to get. It could be a brilliantly beautiful display, or it could be the worst dud imaginable. Or, it could end up looking a lot like a turd.
We watched as some of the fireworks reached for the sky in resplendent glory. Then we watched as this happened. (Just so you know, it’s ok if you laugh while reading this post.)
Apparently these are called snakes, although I can think of a few more appropriate names.
As we watched the very small pellets turn into rather large tubes oddly reminiscent gas station bathrooms, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that what I was watching reminded me of the year that has just passed. Much good has happened this year. We settled into our new home city of Arica, we started working with great people, and we really felt that we were making a difference.
Then our expectations got even bigger. We found out that Bekah was pregnant, and we eagerly expected the birth of our first son. We did what most expecting parents do. We rented a new, bigger house; we bought everything we need to bring our son home from the hospital; we painted walls and assembled strollers.
Then all hell broke loose. A short month before we expected to bring Silas home from the hospital, he died at 36 weeks. We started out expecting glorious fireworks. Getting to hold our son, starting a family on mission, being on a crazy adventure.
What we got looks a lot more like a burning turd.
In this New Year, however, I want to remember that God is a God of redemption. My hope is that God will, in this New Year, redeem this. On some of our best days I feel like nothing more than the firework pictured above, but I know that God has a history of bringing hope from the ashes of destruction. I hope that in 2013 we can see such redemption.