Wow! 2014 is rapidly closing and I don’t know about you but it feels like it just started. I know that as you get older the years do seem to go faster but surely the pace in which this year flew by isn’t only those advancing years but a sign of the times. Regardless of why the days, weeks and months are moving by so quickly, coming to the end of the year always brings about thoughts of what happened that year and usually some excitement that a new fresh year is upon us and we’re inspired to dream about the could be’s of that fresh start.
In reading Paul’s words of Philippians 3:13-14 it brings to mind a couple of things related to closing out a year and starting a new one and how that pertains to our life as a daughter of our Heavenly Father. My first thought is towards the past, usually the last year. For me 2014 was quite a wild ride and brought about experiences I did not anticipate when the year started and a lot of questions of what plans God had for me in this phase of my life and how He was going to take care of various situations. I think it’s normal to have some regrets when looking back at decisions made and the way we handled difficult events wishing we would have had a better attitude or reacted differently when we were in the situation. So how much time should I spend evaluating my past behavior? Over the last couple of years the sense I’m getting is a lot less than I tend to. One of the ways the enemy ties us up is to get us to spend way too much time in what ifs, if onlys and regrets. We humans can be very hard on ourselves but God says His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23) and I’ve taken that to mean that God realizes that we will stumble and fall and that He’s made a way for us to get back up, dust ourselves off (or maybe we need Him to dust us off!) and move forward.
As we wrap up 2014 what do you see when you look back on your year? Are there things you wince at, hurts that still are painful or a list of if onlys that run through your mind? If so, I think now is a really great time to let God’s grace, goodness and mercy to wash over you and turn over to your Heavenly Father those regrets, frustrations and anything that could hold you back as we start the year of 2015. My encouragement to you is to take some time and let the Holy Spirit reveal to you where you may have some unresolved issues and let yourself put those things in God’s capable hands. Do you need to forgive someone who hurt you, then do! Do you need to ask for someone to forgive you, take that step! Are you upset with how something did or didn’t turn out or confused as to why you had seemingly bad circumstances happen in your life and are questioning God as to why those things were allowed to happen? While I certainly can’t speak to your particular circumstance, this I can say, God knows, He’s got it covered if you will let Him be in control and what lies ahead is more amazing than any of us can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
I mentioned this has been a crazy year for me and thought I would share a few things. I’ve worked at the same company for almost 20 years. Our company was bought out in 2012 and I was offered the top position for my department, which I accepted, and had been leading that for the last 2 years. Mergers are very challenging and before the acquisition our company had been going through a lot of financial challenges ending in it going through bankruptcy. As you can imagine morale had been tested for quite a while and then over half way through this year I was laid off. Now having never been through that, it’s quite an experience and add to that that we have a home up north that we need to sell, a bit of pressure when you are now out of a job! I’m going into 2015 still unemployed and still with an extra home and I have a choice before me, do I dwell on what happened and wonder why these things are, or do I follow Paul’s example and, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” I’m choosing to be excited about what 2015 holds for me and I believe with all my heart that everything that happened in 2014, whether I thought it was good or bad, was a stepping stone to something far greater. God says He knows the plans He has for me and that His thoughts for me are for my good and not for evil. So I’ve placed my employment and sale of our home in His hands and know that exactly what needs to happen is going to happen and I have no regrets. Instead I have peace, joy and anticipation to have a testimony to share as God works far above anything I could ask or hope.
I’d like you to join me in letting our Heavenly Father take into His hands the events of 2014, letting them go into His capable hands and say with confidence and peace, “That’s a Wrap!”
Resource (and update): After posting yesterday’s blog my sister and I were talking and unbeknownst to me their sermon was on some similar things as what I posted here. Don’t you love how God does that? They also had a handout to help in looking at how God showed up for them in this past year and I wanted to provide a link in case you would like a tool to help you or you and your family see God’s fingerprints in your life this last year.
Antioch Community Church – Dallas, TX
Last Week’s sermon:
by Joe Paolino
Here’s a digital copy of the handout from the sermon:
Walking with Jesus Plan
This handout will help you reflect upon the goodness of God in your life in 2014, help you receive His grace presently, and challenge you to make a plan for this upcoming year. Blessings to you Antioch Dallas!
A Daughter’s Prayer – May we not look back at yesterday, as our past is in your hands of grace and mercy. May we not look forward to tomorrow, as this too You hold in Your hands and all that we are and all we need is found in You. We live today, the grace You have apportioned for me, like Your manna for the Israelites. You provided for me today all I need. Your abundant goodness is available to me and all that I need I have in You. Holy Spirit, may the eyes and ears of my heart be open. May I see Your goodness all around me and recognize Your hand. I have great expectations of good because I am in Christ and I am seated at the right hand of my Abba Father, in heavenly realms. May Your goodness and mercy overtake us. I expect good things, good things for my family and friends and all those you bring across our path. May all that my hands touch have Your anointing on it. In Jesus’ name, amen.