The Beginning of a New Year

snowy lake

Written by Paul Gueldner

My mother had gotten an infection and needed to be seen in the Emergency Room.  But, there were other sick people there too and we spent many hours waiting, so we both got the flu.  There was a cough.  There was a fever.  There was the lack of strength and the lack of drive to do anything useful.  There was loneliness as others went about their lives, seemingly forgetting about those who were sick.  There was isolation as the world shrank to the small sphere of the house or the apartment.  But, there were also friends who cared to pray for us and family who were able to help us heal by providing a blanket, a cup of soup, or their love and compassion.  And, in time, there was recovery enough to help another person, if even in a small way, once again.

The Lord never promised that life would be easy and everything would be fine in our lives.  He promises that he will always be with us and will never forsake us.  When all else falls away, with our faith, we can have confidence that we will survive, we will live on, we will overcome, with the Lord’s help.

So, what sort of year will 2015 be for you?

Will you have a new job or make a job transition, either planned or forced by circumstances?

Will you face new challenges in your church, work, or personal life or the life of a close friend or family member?

Will you find new ways to be faithful?

Will you find new ways to serve someone outside of yourself?

Will you find new ways to overcome an addiction, a bad habit, a tendency, or a shortcoming?

Will you welcome new family or friends through marriage, birth, adoption, mentoring, or shepherding?

Will you experience new joys?

Will you have to endure new sorrows?

What form will your new life take in this year?

Will it be the same as years in the past, or will it be something new?

Will you meet the joys and challenges with confidence in your Love of the Lord?

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.  As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15 (New International Version)

Oh Lord, I pray that I am, with Your help, smart enough, strong enough, and humble enough, to face the challenges, joys, and sorrows of this year and this life.  I look forward to the time when I will share with You in everlasting praise to God for the gift of eternal life, already freely given. Amen.

Paul Gueldner is a member of the Spiritual Care team. 

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