Tuesday, January 4, 2022

          The last couple of years have been so exhausting and overwhelming that some people have taken to humor to deal with them.  In our downtown, one merchant is displaying a sign that reads “New Year?  I’ll watch the trailer first.”  I saw someone else write the date December 32, 2021.  You may feel the same way!  You could be thinking this new year called 2022 just may be more of the same.  A lot has tested and tried our time, attention, patience and stamina over the last two years.  But this New Year, like all new beginnings, does come with possibility and opportunity.  We have to separate out what we can control and manage from the things we cannot.  Indeed, the Serenity Prayer, often used in recovery programs, teaches us the following, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  Depending upon where you are in life, you may need change or acceptance or wisdom.  James 1:17 tells us that God can supply whatever we might need.  He offers us help in the face of change or acceptance or the need for wisdom.  James wrote, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
            The year is still young and new enough for you to enter into some significant life change.  You can rework and rearrange the things you do not like or find troubling.  God can provide the grace needed for the hard changes you may wish to pursue.  Paul experienced the truth that God’s grace is sufficient—no matter the circumstances.  Likewise, 2022 may be a year of acceptance.  There may be some realities to which you have to adjust your life.  Maybe you have experienced some losses that are irreplaceable.  Maybe there are some parts of your life that cannot be changed or transformed as you would like.  Maybe you have some cantankerous co-workers.  Maybe a family member has disappointed you.  Acceptance is in order.  In situations where acceptance is the answer, Peter says, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (I Peter 3:8).  And the Scriptures also tell us, more than once, that God provides wisdom to do those who ask for it.  James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” 
            We are not able to see into the future—not a month, week, day or even second beyond now.  But we can trust things like change, acceptance and wisdom to the Lord who can see and has seen the future.  The Bible faithfully teaches us that God can be trusted.  He is worthy of our highest trust and devotion.  You can always seek the Lord at anytime and for any reason.  He is never blind to us or off-duty.  He is on the throne and in total control of the universe.
            Perhaps the best decision you make for this new year is the one to seek the Lord more faithfully and consistently.  Enjoy times of silence and solitude.  Ask God for patience as you make your way through challenging days and live alongside challenging people.  A.W. Tozer wrote, “Walking in humility isn’t focusing on what we are NOT; rather, it’s declaring what God is.”  May your life be a declaration of what God is in the year to come.  Trust God to guide you and build you as He leads you through the straits of change, acceptance and wisdom.  Have a good Tuesday!

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