Starting a New Year

Maybe this past year was one you’d love to repeat?  Maybe it was one you’d never want to touch again?

Maybe you laughed a lot, and cried a little.  Maybe you cried a lot, and laughed a little.  Or maybe some other combination of the two?

Maybe you lost something, or someone.  Maybe that loss sent you for a loop and you’ve been running to catch up and struggling to hang on.  Maybe you gained something, or someone.  Maybe the gain came welcome, with outstretched arms — or maybe it didn’t.  Maybe the loss or gain changed who you are?

Maybe there were challenges you overcame, and risks you took that resulted in joy and profit.  Maybe you saw challenges, and those challenges overtook you; maybe the risks you took were ones that resulted in pain and setbacks.

Maybe you have business left undone, things looming over you or things constantly tugging on your conscience.  Or maybe you left 2014 behind with no strings attached.

Maybe you’re looking forward to this coming year; maybe you’re not.  Maybe 2015 symbolizes fresh starts and opportunities.  Maybe 2015 is an unwelcome adjustment with fears and baggage from yesterday.

Maybe you’re remembering your resolutions from 2014 and how they were hard, but you conquered them and held them through.  Maybe you tried, and they simply didn’t happen; too hard, too unrealistic, lack of motivation, something else?  Maybe you’re thinking now and you don’t even remember what your resolutions were this time last year.

Today we’re all beginning 2015.  Each of us has the chance make resolutions, decide to be determined, create goals for the future.  Amidst all of the planning and excitement, amidst all of the discouragement and fear; whether you’re working today or enjoying vacation — let’s look back.

Think of the big things, think of the little things, think of the people and places and time.  Remember, and be thankful.  Give Him thanks for what He’s done.  Regardless of what happened in 2014, thank Him.  Those things that did happen — thank Him.  The things that didn’t happen — thank Him.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  -Romans 8:28

Maybe you don’t really feel like loving God.  Maybe you’ve spent 2014 wrestling with Him and trying to figure out where you stand with Him.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever.”  -Psalm 107:1

Read the rest of that Psalm.  Give thanks anyway.  Take those words, Psalm 107:1, to be undeniable fact in your head — non-arguable, non-emotional.  He is good, and His love does endure forever.  Keep wrestling.

He is the Lord.  He has been Lord through all of 2014, and He will be Lord through all of 2015.  Give Him thanks for the wonders He has done!  Ask Him to reveal how He’s worked; ask Him to show you more than what you can think of.  Be faithful to thank Him, and trust that He knows what He’s doing.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  -Psalm 46:10

Take today to thank Him, wherever you are.  Rest in the fact that He is in control — and thank Him for that.