I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV)
In the final days of any year, I think back to that year’s trials and joys. In my experience, all years have both. Difficult things come first to my mind. Then joys dance into my thoughts. Some years the joys were: new babies, travel delights, marriage celebrations, spiritual revivals and Godly revelations. Wonderful!
Then I remember “regular” times: seeing my garden hoed, freshly baked pies, my children jumping in autumn leaf piles, and fun sharing love and laughter with friends and family.
Sometimes it seems sad much of that is past. Then, I remember what is constant through every year. It’s the presence of God and His unconditional love. I know as I place my trust in Him, the coming year will be bearable in His strength – and wonderful in new joys. Then I smile, and get ready to face the security of another year in the arms of God.
Dear God, I thank You for every blessing of being yours. I am never alone and am thoroughly loved. With Your Spirit, I will try to not lean on my own understanding as I face difficulties this coming year. And, I will watch for the joys you so lavishly give. Thank you for this New Year. In faith, I press on to peace. Amen.
– Pastor Karla Shafer, Bethel United Methodist Church