2021 has been a challenging year at our house. So challenging that I have been on a hiatus from blogging. New Year’s eve seems an appropriate day to get back in the saddle. At our house, we have had two parents pass away and my wife has experienced a return of cancer. In addition like you, we have faced the trials and turns that come every year.
The good news is we have survived and we are doing well. I am reminded of a quote from Henry Blackaby: “as with Abram, God invites people to follow Him step by step. If God were to give you a specific plan for your life, you would likely put your focus on the plan rather than on Him. God does not want your life to depend on a plan or an income or a person or anything else. He wants you to trust Him.”
Life is lived moving forward and it is only understood looking backward. Two words that describe the way we should face the new year, reliance and reflection. Reliance on God, for His grace, mercy, strength, and comfort. Reflection as one tries to explain what has happened as well as what we have experienced we should reflect on things in light of God’s grace in our lives and world.
In light of our need for reflection as we enter another new year, may I offer some Scripture verses to reflect upon?
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,… 1 Chronicles 16:11-12)
Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. Lamentations 3: 22-24
In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. Psalm 100:4
It would be good in the next day or two to quiet yourself and be reminded that God has been good to you. During this season I do not have just one year upon wihich to reflect, I have decades to think about. The fact that we are here is a sure sign that God has led, guided, helped and brought us through many deep waters. As I think about God and His goodness I am also reminded that it has not all been difficult and challenging, there have been a stockpile of blessings and kindnesses extended that are too numerous to count. Spening time thinking about the past and remembering the good and the bad is a great transition to the future. The same God who brought me through so many trals, is the same God who will bring me through whatever comes my way in the new year. Because of God’s love and grace I will make it and so will you.
Happy New Year!