I always know, even in the beginning of the year, that our autumn and winter seasons will be busy.
So why am I always surprised when they actually end up being busy??? But what a fun time of bustling busyness it is! The parties, the times of gathering, the fun and games, the caroling expeditions. This year, we added a wedding to the mix, and I joined a choir to sing Handel’s famous “Messiah”. And with all the busyness, I suddenly realize….we are almost ready to welcome a new year. Fresh. New. No mistakes in it yet. Looked forward to with excitement. An adventure, and no one knows what lies around the next bend. In the next week. The new month. Another year, flown by. Times I cannot regather, memories I can not remake.
Are there times of remorse that I feel, as I look back through this past year? Oh yes! How many mistakes I have made! How many opportunities I have let slip through my fingers, watching as they fade away! Slowly, softly, and forever. Never to be recaptured.
Are there fun memories I will relive with my own family in the future? Things I will tell my children about, if the Lord sees fit to bless me with them? Absolutely….there are things I can never forget!
Do I wonder what will happen in the new year? Will the Lord bring new people into my life? How many people — acquaintances, friends, church family — will He lead down a new path? How many will move away? How many will I watch make compromises, and sigh as they forget their first convictions? How many will I rejoice with, as I see them stand strong in the Lord, and the power of His might? Speak out for their convictions? How many will I have to resign as they head down their own path, and I head down mine?
What will I learn this year? What will the Lord teach me through His people? Through adversity? Through close friends? Will He allow sadness and sorrow to be my teachers? Joy? Happiness?
A new year, filled with questions. “What if’s”. “I wonder’s”.
A new road to travel down, a new turn in the path of life, a new chapter in my life book that is being written. Is already written, by the One in charge, and I am following where He leads. Do I follow it gracefully? No….not really. I stumble many times. Want to follow my own path. Forget that the Lord has already mapped out my life. Already has a plan for me.
Will I stand strong in the Lord this year? Will I balk at publicly acknowledging Him? Be ashamed to thank the Lord for the food He has graciously provided for me? Or will I rejoice at the opportunity to glorify Him in public? Will I make compromises on convictions I hold dear? Will I follow other peoples leading, or my Master’s? Will I desire to stand firm, even when it is hard? Will the Lord gift me with His strength to stand upon His Word? Make a difference? Be the example — even when I am the only one?
One thing the Lord has especially been convicting me about this year is to be the example. I desire close friendships with other young ladies that will help me grow in the Lord. Encourage me to study His Word. Push me to seek His will for my life. I should be that friend. I should be the one encouraging the other young ladies and young girls — sisters in Christ — to seek the Lord with their whole heart.
I have been realizing that I need to pray for those in other lands…those who have even less freedom to practice what they believe than we in America do. I need to pray hard that they would be a testimony for their Creator. That their sufferings and possibly death will bring Him glory and honour. Turn others to their Saviour.
Do we love Christ more than anything else this world has to offer? Do I love Him like that? Do we make time for Him? Make time to gather with others to worship His name? Hear His Word taught? Am I too tired? Too busy? Do I have a desire to be with other believers? What hinders me from a relationship with Him? From holding Him dearer than anything else? Nothing hinders me but the darkness of my own mind and heart.
Our race — our lives — must bring glory to God’s grace. Our purpose is to magnify His grace in our daily lives. We should show others His redeeming power. His love. His mercy. But we can only do this — fulfill this purpose — if we are close to our dear Saviour. If we study His word, make time to learn about Him, spend time in prayer with Him. Our daily walk with Christ is dependent upon His grace. There is not a minute of our day when we are not dependent upon Him. We are so unworthy of His grace — we must not bring shame to His name!
The essence of true religion is to have a fondness for Him. Dear sisters — do you have a fondness for our Lord? Do you strive to please Him — even when it is hard? Even when you are the only one?
And, in the words of Handel’s “Messiah” that I have sung: Blessing and honour and glory and power be unto Him, that sitteth upon the throne. And unto the Lamb forever and ever. Amen.