Happy New Year Everyone!!! I know I'm a little late with this latest proclamation but I was trying to wait until it felt genuine and like I actually yelled it with glee. Let me just admit to you now that those last two to three exclamation marks weren't necessarily from the gut. I tried but really they were a little forced to be honest.
Of course I mean for everyone to have a fabulous year-don't get me wrong-but I'm just not my usual chipper self about it all. I'm ready to hear some really good news folks! I would like to hear that Ladybird Rufflebottoms* got her dream job that pays just the right amount saving her from doing anything drastic about her house. I'd like to hear "business is getting stronger" from a close relative who's worked most of his life to build a company toward retirement only to have it screech to a halt and dry up just when he needs it most. I would like to know that our precious friends the Wondersteins* will soon get a clean bill-o-health report on their little trooper boy suffering from cancer. It would in fact be awfully nice to hear that news from some of you as well! How about less premature death this year? Or maybe just a specific life rescued from drug abuse and mental woes with a miraculous full recovery.
YES! I NEED TO HEAR SOME OF THAT NEWS THIS YEAR!
If it seems like I'm just looking at the dark side of the room, that's because I have found myself there lately. I've had a few glimmers of happiness recently though and I don't think I'll reach for the antidepressants just yet. I feel like it actually takes times like these in our lives to remind us that we are not just here for our own pursuit of happiness, but we are here to muddle through a fallen world until our Saving Grace arrives to scoop us up and say "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
I don't really expect to hear that upon scoop up. Right now I'd hear something more like "Why such a weakling, mediocre and lackluster servant? Could you not have put forth just a touch more effort in my name?" I, of course, would deserve much more of a talking to, but I really can't bear to think about my personal failings right now.
Right now I've got these worries for my beloved friends and family. I want to help each one of them but in every case I find myself lacking. All I can really do is pray and sometimes my brain is even too confused to do that well. I realize I don't have to pray eloquently or list every detail. I just have to do it. And often. God is so amazing to watch in action as he takes care of his people. He knows more than we do what needs to happen. And he can reach people in ways we never expect him to.
So I'm forced to trust Him in his choices. He wants us to need Him and He expects us to call on Him for comfort and answers when we can't find them ourselves. He has not failed me and He will not fail those who call on Him, even as the heat cranks up on our discomfort. We can choose to be refined by these fires rather than destroyed by them as the study of Daniel once taught me. I've made it through a few personal "fires" and I know how the Lord was never more real to me than in those particular instances. He cares about us more than we can possibly perceive and I know in my human failings that I can trust Him!!! And it seems as though I might even be getting my three exclamation point exuberance back!!!
Ok, I think I'm through giving myself this extravagant pep talk in front of you all. And now that I've dragged you to the darkened corners of my mental room and back, can I offer up some hopeful news? We have a God that can take over where we leave off!!! May He help us each pull ourselves up and be all that we were meant to be this year in the joyful and difficult times! And, my prayer is that He protects us and shows us just what we are individually gifted to do to bring Glory to His Kingdom. YOU ARE MIGHTY LORD!!! And I give you my praise. Amen
Now that I'm feeling a tad less mopey, how about you tell me something you are hoping to accomplish in 2009. Do you have a new exercise plan, a work challenge, or perhaps a new hairdo on the horizon? Do tell.
(C-berg's in front of some brilliant LED Christmas lights in Oklahoma City)
* some names slightly altered for privacy sake