Christmas is over, now what?

IMG_0073Christmas is over, the paper and boxes lay in the trash.  The tree is dried out and ready for removal. The food’s been eaten and everyone’s gone home.  Now what?  It’s that time of year to reflect and think about what lies ahead for 2016.  For me, there are some milestones that will include a lot of planning and preparation, including some special anniversaries and birthdays this year, as well as college visits for my daughter.  Resolutions on the horizon will, of course, include the norm of more exercise and better eating.   But, what about the unknown? What will transpire in our home, my personal life, or in our country in 2016?  Will we encounter illness, disaster, or death?  More importantly, how will these things, if they transpire, change us as people?

It’s impossible to see into the future, and truly, I’m glad that it is, but whatever changes come our way, my prayer is that stop and remember that God is sovereign and He is in control.  God is always present!  With Him, we can face tomorrow, whatever that may hold.  Good or bad, tragedy or triumph, wealth or poverty, health or lack of, strength or weakness; our God reigns and supplies all of our needs.  The comfort of His love holds our future in heaven and provides hope for a better tomorrow, whatever the day may bring forth.  It is through tests and trials that He is made bigger in our lives and personally, when I have allowed His hand to help me up, I have become deeper and richer in the fullness of His love.  Sometimes, the falls are hard and they leave us out of breath and struggling for survival, but when we allow Him to breathe His life into us,  we become stronger, more resilient, and full in the power of His Spirit.  In remembrance of what He has done in our past, let’s say a prayer for our future in 2016.

Great, Almighty Lord of All, I  praise your name.  I thank you for our lives, for our families, our friends, and the blessings of food, shelter, and all the extras that we enjoy.  My Jesus, I confess to you my ridiculous pride and my complacent heart.  Please continue to teach me what is truly important.  Lord, humbly I come before you asking you to help us all to be more encouraging, loving, patient, and kind.  Help us to let go of those things which trick our hearts into a state of complacency when it comes to remaining in step with you.  Help us to embrace your Word, to listen to your Spirit before we act and to pray earnestly for others.  Help us to walk in YOUR will and not our own.  Help us to spread your light into this dark world with your smile, your compassion, and your mercy.  We know not what the future holds here on earth, but we know who holds our future in His hands and we trust the eternal promise you made to us when you gave us your Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins so that we could be saved.  Because of this promise, no matter what transpires in 2016, we rest assure that we have a home in heaven in a perfect place, free of the fallen world.  We also know that while we must endure here on earth, that you are with us in spirit and you will give us the strength, the wisdom and the power to overcome and to manage anything that is put before us.  Even in our suffering, your power is made manifest in our lives and you can bring others to you through the hard times that we must sometimes endure.  I thank you for loving us and I am excited about the year ahead and the purpose of your plan.

In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray.

AMEN

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