2015 is over, 2016 has just begun. Christmas celebrations are over and I find myself thinking about this past year. It’s been a good year and it’s been a hard one.
I feel blessed by God and think of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians “…asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.” (Eph. 1:17,18 NLT) I grew in the knowledge of God this past year and have more peace and confidence in the hope we have: God’s abundant grace and love for all people.
And though I stumble and can get stressed, “if our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts…” (1 John 3:20 NIV) I have peace even in the struggle for God is for me, not against me. And I know He walks with me through the pain (I am not alone) and the ultimate goal is healing, restoration, and relationship with Him.
But it’s been a hard year, too. There were a number of people who passed away in our extended family and friends (my mom being one of them). We had to walk through some difficult things in addition to all of the above. Feeling weary and worn out is part of this season. So I continue to learn what it means to rest and trust.
And I am hopeful for the new year. One day at a time. Growing in my knowledge of God and His amazing love and grace. The more I learn to let go and receive His grace (without me doing anything about it), the more peace I experience, even in the midst of the ‘hard stuff’. His grace makes all the difference in the world. And I will not give it up or stop talking about it.
I pray that you will be able to receive God’s abundant grace for you and would know that you are not alone as you enter this new year with it’s blessings and hardships. Grace and peace to you in the name of the Triune God – Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.