2017 has passed into history. There have been a few years in recent memory to which I bid "Good riddance." This past year is not one of those. 2017 was a good year for me and my family. Jan and I became grandparents. Twice. I started a new job, which I love. There were some hiccups. It was not a perfect year, but overall it was peaceful, without the drama of some recent years.
As I look back on the past year, I am thankful for the good things that God has blessed us with. Grandchildren and the new job are right up there at the top of the list, along with a deepening of our relationship as husband and wife. Our relationships with our friends has also grown stronger, and we are grateful for them. This year has been more active than most, but we have been blessed with the energy we needed. I have no idea what 2018 holds. I hope that it is as good as 2017, but I realize that it may not be.
I don't know if your past year was good or bad. I don't know if you are looking forward to this new year or not. I do know how it feels to be glad one year is gone and also dread the coming year. While I can't totally understand what everyone goes through, I can empathize. I can also hope and pray with you that 2018 is a good year for you.
Let me encourage you to trust God this coming year. There may be times when you can't even begin to figure out what he is doing, or if he is even working at all. Those times when you can't see his hand at work, trust his heart. Trust that the Father's love for you is so strong that he will never let anything come into your life that he does not use for your good. The last part of Romans 8 is true. There is absolutely nothing on earth or in heaven that can separate you from Abba's love.
Don't live this year worrying about the state of your finances, your health, your relationships. Don't be worried about the future of the country's politics, or world affairs. The Creator of all things, who is your Father, is in complete control. Since even the fall of a tiny bird doesn't escape God's attention, trust that he has your situation firmly in hand. As Julian of Norwich said, "...all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."
May your 2018 be full of the love of Abba!
From my opportunity to teach in our gathering this morning:
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