Goodbye 2017!!! You were rough and rocky and sometimes downright frightening. But also intertwined throughout your 12 month tenure were moments of joy, expectation, fun and lots of thanksgiving. For me, you have given me a new home, a new home state, a new beginning and sadness in saying goodbye to lifelong friends who I now have to talk to and visit from afar. Yet, I do not bemoan it but rather embrace friendships moving onto another plane with doors opening to new friends and a continuation of lasting friendships through visits and social media. This was also a hard year for losing family members who have passed on and accepting the fact that our time together on this earth was much too short. And with the sadness of saying goodbye to some family members, I also welcomed my first grandchild into my life. With her arrival, my life has totally been transformed.
So here we are at the end of yet another year. Going forward into the new year, we always reflect and create goals for the coming year which we have every intention of keeping, but sometimes don’t even make it through the first week. I am going to be no different this year. But instead of goals, I am making a list of wishes I have come up with and would love to see happen.
So if you indulge me, here are a few…..
I wish for more love. You know we have been given the best guideline for making this world a better place and we just cannot seem to follow it. You have but to look at God’s Word, Matthew 22:37-40 states: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Seriously, if we followed these two simple commands, there would be no need for any additional wish list items. For love encompasses all things. But don’t try this on your own. For if we lean on our own strength, I guarantee we will surely fail before the sun sets on any given day. In order to accomplish this you must seek the mind and heart of Christ. We are able to love with the help of the Holy Spirit who enables us to do all things. So I encourage you to seek out and cultivate a relationship with God this year. It will be the best thing you do, for yourself and the world.
I wish for peace. This means peace of mind, peace between people, nations, and peace in whatever you choose to do in life. Whatever gives you peace this year, I encourage you to pursue it and embrace it. Accepting that we cannot always change things is difficult and can cause emotional stress. And that emotional stress leads to sometimes shattered relationships and discord. But realizing that there are ways to live when things are out of your power to control, is what you must strive for. I encourage you to spend time in prayer and meditation and find that solace and peace that works for you. For His Word tells us in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
I wish for provision. I sincerely pray that God grants you the desires of your heart. I am not praying for huge material gains specifically, but rather, that your wants become in alignment of what God provides for you. We can find joy and happiness in the simplest of things; a cool breeze on a hot day, a door opened for us by the thoughtfulness of a stranger, or just the ability to provide for ourselves and our families. Philippians 4:19 tells us: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” We have but to trust His Word, which is faithful and true.
I wish for protection. If you have paid attention to the world lately, it is a scary place. There are wars and rumors of war. There is increased hate everywhere, and a callousness that has griped the hearts of people to an extent that no where is safe. You cannot go to the mall, sit in a movie theater, enter an airport, etc without the fear that danger can strike at anytime. We repress and suppress our fears just to carry out these simple daily interactions, but what is that doing to us inwardly? You can build the highest wall, put in place the tightest security, make the strictest laws, but it will never be enough nor will it be the solution. Evilness will get around it. I believe in the spiritual protection from God. Ephesians 6:10-11 states: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” I believe we are in a battle against good and evil. If you don’t fully understand what is going on, you would believe that bad and evil is winning. But it is not. Being a believer does not exempt me from the evilness of this world, but I believe in the power of prayer and the protection of the Holy Spirit. So I choose to live my life without immobilizing fear. I believe there is goodness in people and I believe in hope. And His Word becomes alive for me and not just words on a page. I truly believe it when Scripture tells us in Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
So this is my list of wishes. I believe these wishes are totally attainable. For all of these wishes start from within. And I know that if I keep my mind and heart on these things, 2018 will be a fantastic year, no matter what happens. It is a choice and a lifestyle I am determined to make.