January 1, 2013..a brand new year and a new beginning for each of us. I know that God is not in time..but He uses time to do some amazing things. I believe that He is always reaching for our hands to tell us that we have a fresh start..not just once a year.. but every single day. At the same time.. this particular day brings with it an opportunity.
2012 was a very challenging year for me. I felt relief as I took down my calendar and put a brand new one in its place. It was very difficult.. but I am beginning to see fruit from the suffering in my life and in the lives of those around me. Nothing is wasted with the Lord. I feel a sense of excitement this morning. What does God have in store? How will He show His sovereignty and His goodness to His people? What new things will He bring into our lives to remind us that we are His. The slate is clean..it is a fresh start..we can use this day to prepare..to anticipate..to dream of possibilities.
Let’s trust Him more fully in 2013 because of the way He took us through 2012. He will be with us in every new adventure..His hand of protection is over us..He will rescue us before we fall off the edge. He will provide for all our needs and bless us beyond our expectations. He will encourage, comfort, and strengthen us.. He will never fail us in this new season. Let’s begin this year with thanksgiving.. in faith that our God is with us!
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
We’re almost at the end of summer.. a melancholy time for me. Growing up in Los Angeles.. I got as much summer as I wanted. The weather was almost always warm..even in the winter. My best memories were of being with my family for an extended vacation at the beach. The beaches were warm.. not like the ones up here in Northern California. I miss those times.
They represent a time before my family moved and everything seemed to fall apart. Looking back I can see how that season of loss is still profoundly connected to my life now. As much as I would like to put the past behind me.. I can’t fully do that. Our seasons of grief become part of us..we are changed by them and we incorporate them into the way we live our lives. It is interesting how we try to ” get through things” in our culture..so we can move on.
The truth is we aren’t able to do that. Life is full of loss. We either learn to live with it..and allow it to change us for the better or it destroys us. Repressed grief leads to depression and despair. Grief that is allowed to be expressed and examined is going to take us into a new season. We will grow..becoming more caring and compassionate.
So.. here we are at the end of summer.. more loss..a new opportunity to move on and embrace the fall season. We are capable of much more than we think we are.. God has created us with the ability to change and grow. As the new season approaches, let’s ask Him to bless us with rich experiences..deep experiences..as we embrace life fully and let go of summer.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. “
Ten more days until Christmas and 16 more days until the end of 2010. The end of the first decade in the 21st century. I never imagined living long enough to be in this century when I was a child.. it all seemed so far away. Here we are completing the first ten years..surprising and intriguing. What is around the next corner? What will the future be like? We never really know the answer to these questions.
Even though I have lived many years and faced an unknown future more times than I care to remember..I am continually challenged when a year comes to an end. My imagination goes wild trying to figure out what will happen next year..will this be the year when___? You fill in the blank. Unfulfilled desires and longings pop up.. demanding attention. It is a time for dreaming and a time for renewed hope.
A new beginning is in sight. This is a great time to put the past in the past as much as we are able. A time to reach for new levels of forgiveness. To move forward into 2011 releasing old anger and resentments. It is an opportunity to renew our faith in the goodness of God. To lay aside doubt and unbelief..to confess fear and anxiety and ask for His help. We have choices in this short season that is left. Do we want to drag our baggage into next year?
I want the fresh start..the new beginning..the next season..to be cleaned out and prepared for everything that He has for me in 2011..do you?
“I am the Lord and I do not change…now return to me and I will return to you…for the Son of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings…you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.”