I’ll never forget 1996. I’ve always referred to it as the Year of Death. I passed out “I Survived 1996” certificates to close friends who came to my house for dinner on New Year’s Eve who shared in some of the deep loses of those twelve months.

I lost my church of seventeen years, a battle praying for a young man who had cancer and favor and position at work. It was a real pounding. After it was all over I looked back from a distance and saw the real death was to my own flesh because everything went the polar opposite of the way I wanted it to go. And so…in the end it was a good thing.

Now something new is immerging from the ashes of that year. I have begun to notice notes and underlined passages I made in 1996 in two different Bibles I use. What I am seeing amazes me. Much of what was on my mind and heart back then has slowly and surely come to pass or is in process right now. Even while I was losing all that I held dear, a new life was being birthed and I wasn’t aware of it.

Do you have an ash heap? Maybe it is time to revisit it. Maybe your vision will be clearer as you look back on what at the time seemed wasted. You know that God can bring good out of anything but what joy and amazement when you see it with your own eyes. I may reconsider calling 1996 the Year of Promise.