"In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness." (NIV) Titus 2:7
Happy New Year Everyone! I pray that you had a wonderful New Year's Eve and are ready for the 2017 year! I think as we get older, the years seem to pass by quicker and quicker. I remember being younger and hoping for the year that I would be old enough to ride into town on my bike on my own; or the year that I would get my license; or the year that I would be able to go to college, etc. Now I don't want the years to pass as quickly. I want to hold onto them a little longer . . .
Usually, during this time of year, we think of resolutions that we want to make or goals that we want to set for the upcoming year. The New Year is always a great time to "reset" our objectives and see what we can achieve in the future year. This New Year, though, has me reflecting on the past year and some of the triumphs and tragedies I have faced. I want to remember the good times that I may have enjoyed or the difficult times that I may have had.
What could they be? Well, there were certainly many good times. We had one child graduate college and all four children either found new jobs or have decided upon a life direction. We have had family and friends who have been healed from difficult illnesses or accidents. We have enjoyed weekend vacations in new destinations. We have had visits from family far away and have enjoyed remembering past times. There was also personal joy - moments when really great things happened that made me just stop in time. All of these wonderful things have come with God's glory and wonderful blessings.
The difficult times? Yes, we've had some of those too. Difficult accidents to work through, tough relationships to deal with, passing of furry friends we were close with, and moments of despair. There were certainly times when I just didn't know where to turn, where life seemed so "upside down" and I just couldn't figure out how to "right side up" it. There were also moments of pure exhaustion, where working so hard at work and at home just left me exasperated. God's glory and wonderful blessings were here too. These difficult times helped me to reflect on the only One that could truly help get me through all of these times. Our Dear Jesus.
So as we move forward to see what the New Year may bring us, I encourage us to review the past - see what went well, see what can go better. Maybe take a few moments to write down all we are grateful for - the people and the things in our lives that make us happy. Try writing down one a week - in a journal or even in a note on your phone. What glory we may have as we reflect on the good (or difficult) time that helped us to move forward this year.
I also ask that you pray to our Lord for His help in finding purpose and direction in the New Year. Many times, we focus on what WE want and how WE will be able to move forward. Is that what God wants for our future? Have you asked Him lately? You may find that what He has in store for you is far greater than any goal or resolution we can set.
"Dearest Jesus, we thank you that you are the one who can truly "reset" us. With your guidance and love, help us to ask what YOU want me to do with my life and then ensure that I LISTEN to receive understanding. My ways are not always the right ways, Lord, but your ways are perfect. As 2017 rings in, guide me to YOUR path. In your name I pray, Amen."