If we were sitting across from each other right now, I’d give you a high five and then probably a hug.
The past 365 days, you showed up for ministry, life, and all the multitudes of things that make up your days. You raised your family, you invested in your church community, you saw kids and families come to know Jesus, you advanced in your own discipleship journey with Jesus and more… that all deserves a high five!
The past 365 days, you put one foot in front of the other as you navigated the loss of loved ones, spent days in the hospital, poured over a budget and bank account that were not matching up, stayed up through the night with sick kids, left meetings questioning your calling, and more… that all deserves a hug.
I’m not sure if you’re entering 2017 with your boosters in full gear, or if you’re entering the new year with a cup of coffee in both hands and just grateful 2016 is in the books. Whatever the case may be for you friend, can I encourage you to think through a few questions before 2017 gets rolling?
- What were the greatest joys of this past year for you?
- What were the deepest sorrows?
- As you reflect on the year, what do you need to leave at the altar?
- What truth do you need to embrace as you enter 2017?
It’s been a yearly practice of mine to begin praying in early December for God to reveal a theme to me that I can hold to for the new year. For 2016, it was “anchored,” and oh- did my soul ever need that theme!
As 2017 dawns, a theme I am embracing is “overflow.” God has repeatedly brought to mind Romans 3:3-5 –
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because Godʼs love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
My prayer is that the hope and love God has poured into my heart through His Spirit overflows into every aspect of 2017. That come what may, I choose joy. Not because it’s easy or simple, but because I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good… even when my van is going up in flames in my driveway. Even when my son is lying on a hospital bed. Even when my dad is in surgery to remove cancer. He was there with us, and He held us through all the outcomes
With 2017 hours away, I wonder what your theme will be? What are you leaving in the rear view mirror, and what might God be giving to you to hold as your theme in this new year?
My sincere prayer for you, dear friend, is that this new year is filled with a multitude of tiny blessings – the opportunity to see how God uses the works of your hands, the smiles of your family, the laughter of friends, and more… I truly wish you a very happy new year!
We’re cheering you on- always!