I’m a planner. I love to organize anything. And this time of year is extra special for me as I get to close out one year, reflecting on all that God has done, and prepare for a new year, anticipating what He will do. I’m going through my file cabinets today, purging out the old papers and setting up new files for 2015. Mostly I’m doing this because I can’t get much more in the drawers because they are so stuffed full of documents. Life happened and papers came with it; insurance, bills, bank statements, tax records, ministry files, etc. I guess in some ways this makes me “old school”. Maybe file cabinets will soon be a thing of the past along with photo albums and land lines.
Looking back, 2014 brought tremendous growth through obedience in my life. I started the year pretty well but quickly became sick. Forced to stop walking and training for two months, my frustrations grew. Doubt crept in helped along by those who already think I’ve lost it. “Maybe this isn’t what God wants you to do.” I had hit my plateau. My weight loss stalled. My strength faded. I had to start again. But I started, praise God! Six months of the year I was able to walk outside. I started lifting weights and meeting with a dear friend who is encouraging me along this weight loss journey!
2014 brought also a wonderful year of ministry and opportunity; food pantry work, mission trip, our married daughter living temporarily back home with her 1 year old daughter in tow (do you realize what a 1 year old can do to your house?), conferences, our annual retreat, discipleship classes and my first mentee. It has been a great year. That being said, doubt and fear (my two old nemeses) trailed after me all year with questions about wisdom and our financial welfare, but God in His great love for me, continues to show me that I am His, and He has called me to do what I am doing. Only God could change a broken down, overweight, menopausal 46 year old woman to be able to complete the Camino. All of my efforts got me nowhere, but He is able to do all things! I trust Him and will rest in His promises.
Looking forward to 2015 I have no idea what God will do in my life, but I know that I won’t be the same at the end of the year. My life will be different. My faith will be different. God continues to write my story and yours. My job is to listen well and to be obedient to His call on my life. I have died and my life is now hidden in Christ. My will and my wants need to be aligned with Christ. Temptations come my way that threaten to take me off course. I must flee from them and cling to Christ. I have friends and family who will suffer next year. I may suffer next year. But I know God. I know His character. I know that He alone is worthy of my praise. I will keep my eyes fixed on Him alone and not on my circumstances. I will run the race to win. I will do my best to bring glory to His great name.
Father God, Thank You for Your great faithfulness in my life. Thank You for Your truth and Your word. Help me Lord to live in obedience to You and to do my part so that You can change me to be more like Jesus. Help me to lean on You each day for what I need. Help me to remember that each new day is grace and a gift. Let my life reflect Your light to those who are in darkness that they might be drawn to you Lord. Amen.
I hope as you look back over 2014 that you also see God’s hand at work molding and shaping you to be more like Jesus. I pray that 2015 will build your faith and bring you many opportunities to praise the one true God.
Bring glory to His name. Be encouraged. Press on.
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV)
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5 ESV)