On the first day of 2021, I stood beside our fake Lowe’s tree and removed one ornament at a time. Each one sparked emotion. A mixture of sadness and thankfulness as I thought of our parents who’ve passed. A big smile with gratitude, when I held the little white and brown wooden ferry from Baldhead Island, circa 1997. A reminder that our marriage has lasted and even thrived for thirty-five years. http://tranquiliving.com/marriage-is-so-much-trouble/ The child-made ornaments made me wish I could go back to the time when our kids created them.
Help me, Lord, to hold the past and present with gratitude and open hands. I long to re-live past experiences; to be with my parents; to hear the voices of our children and feel their hugs.
But we’ve already lived those times. They had their moments in the spotlight. It’s now a new season to attend to other people and experiences. Help me, Lord, to embrace the wonderful present, and be less sentimental about the past.
As I recalled earlier years, Y2K came to mind.
Twenty-one years ago people cancelled flights and stacked canned goods and bottled water to the ceiling. They hoarded battery- powered lights, emergency radios, cash and candles. The world as we knew it would end on January 1, 2000, or so we were told. And then, nothing happened.
The climate of fear and dread in 1999, reminds me of today. As Christ followers, why are we worried and fearful? Is God real? Do we believe what the Bible says about Him? Does He love us? Or is it all a fairy tale. Are we left to scavenge on our own without divine help from a Sovereign Being?
Before we traipse off to create a pain-free, risk-free, prosperous life, what if we first surrender to God’s purpose for our lives, and trust Him to guide us. We want a good life, but do we idolize and prioritize that life above the life God has planned?
We quote scripture and sometimes take words out of context like picking cashews from the mixed nuts can. We say we believe the Bible but do we know what it says?
We live in terror, and fear sickness and death. We work and worry as if we must make earth our paradise. Have we forgotten the Treasure that awaits us in eternity? Do we realize some fates are worse than death?
I’m surprised how earth-like I am at times. How earth-clingy.
*Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One, who grants us every spiritual blessing in these heavenly realms where we live in the Anointed—not because of anything we have done, but because of what He has done for us.
I sometimes act like I’ve forgotten God is Sovereign— that not even a sparrow dies without his notice. Why do we worry about politics and sickness? As Christians, we vote, pray for our country and proclaim biblical truths—we long for our country’s laws to line up with God’s standards. We do everything in our means to take care of our bodies and avoid Covid-19. But finally, after we’ve done all in our power, there comes a time to let go; to recognize the limits of our personal control.
Did God promise to provide for us only in ideal political climates? Can we embrace His promise to never leave us even when our world is in chaos?
Through every difficult experience in my life, God has been faithful.
I want to enter 2021 with less fear and more courage—I want to believe God is Who He says.
*God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed Father of Glory; I call out to You on behalf of your people. Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know you. Open the eyes of their hearts and let the light of your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. Let them see the full extent of your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to your might and power.
As a young single mom I was encouraged by Abraham’s experience. God led him to a land he didn’t know. I could relate. I sometimes didn’t know how I’d pay rent or feed my children. God led Abraham one step at a time, and He led me to a future I couldn’t have imagined when I was a single mom. It’s the same for all of us in 2021. If we think we can control the future, we fool ourselves. We work hard and make plans as we should, but to walk by faith is to hold our hands open to His plan and will.
Oswald Chambers tells us that trusting God entirely keeps us in perpetual wonder. God does not tell us what He’s going to do. He reveals to me Who He is. Will we believe in a miracle-working God? Will you surrender to Him until you are not surprised an atom at anything He does?
Will you join me this new year and refuse the worry that creeps in? Will you commit to spend more time focused on Him and His Word? Will you believe that He is faithful and present with us every moment? We don’t have to live this life alone.
*Now to the God who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us, to Him be all the glory forever and ever. Amen.
*Paraphrased verses from Ephesians.