And just like that 2017 is history. Let’s take a little look back, shall we?
The Year 2017 in Retrospect
January: 365 Opportunities
I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, but I know who holds the future. I know the Author and Finisher of my Faith has promised to finish the work that He has started in me. I can press forward into 2017 seizing every moment for His glory because God’s plot lines always wrap up with spectacular endings. I am only looking at one page of my story right now, but the next page just might be my turning point.
Tomorrow holds 86,400 seconds. You might just blink and see God transform your obstacles into opportunities.
February: Due Diligence
Am I diligently delighting in what will feed my spirit?
I want my heart to zealously pursue what pleases my Father. So, I am taking notes on what He considers due diligence.
The diligent effort required to walk with prudence and purpose will have an eternal payoff.
March: Hearts Ablaze
I want to keep His holy fire burning brightly in my heart.
I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve laid in bed flooded with fear and worry. I’ve imagined thousands of catastrophes and mentally written my own obituary. Rather than praying through my fears and pressing into the presence of Christ, I allow my thoughts to escalate into terror and trembling.
When we meditate on God’s power-packed promises, He plugs us into peace in this crazy world.
Shame paid us a visit on Tuesday.
He was not an invited guest. The sneaky stinker walked right through our front door like he owned the place.
As he mouthed off brazen accusations, my soul shattered into a million pieces of sorrow.
Ironically, just hours before Shame crashed my party, I’d authored an article titled “5 Decisive Moves to Defeat Discouragement.”
Writer Beware: Put your #ArmorOn before you pick up your pen.
My love tank is on empty.
Instead of humming with the oil of joy, doubt and fear are clogging my mental filters.
My grace gauge is all out of whack and causing my forgiveness to misfire.
I am running recklessly low on meekness and self control and emitting fumes of jealousy and pride.
Maybe like me you don’t want to continue recklessly driving on without heeding the warning signals. Let’s pull over to the side of the road together and chat about how to avoid a breakdown.
I immediately got to work. But, I put the wrong things in my suitcase. Instead of placing peace and joy in my carry on, I decided to weigh myself down with anxiety and disappointment.
I failed to remember God always wants us to travel light. I won’t have room for all the delightful surprises He has prepared for me if I am cluttered up with unnecessary burdens.
But once I let my emotions derail my purpose, I didn’t know how to get back on track. Have you ever been there? Just in case you feel like you are on about to derail like me, I want to share a few suggestions on how to avoid a train wreck from Psalm 34.
My efforts to save myself are flimsy and flawed. God alone is my rock and refuge.
Friend, you can find shelter when life rains on your parade. God is your safe haven in the midst of the storm. Just look up.
September: The Weekly Friendship Check-in
Jesus modeled for us the importance of developing intimate friendships.
Maybe like me, you long to be a better friend, but you just never find time to pick up the phone and call, and then weeks go by before you see someone. I decided I didn’t want to do that anymore. So, here is what I did: I invited my friends to sign up for my weekly check in.
October: 3 Ways to Kick Fear to the Curb
Maybe like me you find yourself laying in bed at night having a one-sided conversation with your fears. Frankly, I am exhausted from having the same tired arguments. Why do I let fear torment me?
I don’t have to fend for myself. I have a Defender.
When fear comes calling, I need to invite God into the conversation.
Fear will fade as we stop listening to the lies and start looking to Jesus. He’s promised to never leave me nor forsake me. He will never tire of standing up on my behalf. He longs to shelter me in His strong embrace.
Fearless people focus on God’s faithfulness.
November: You are a Citizen of Heaven
You, my friend, are also a dual citizen. Your feet may stand on earthy soil, but your home is in heaven.
In his epistle to the church at Philippi, Paul challenges Christ followers to steward their dual citizenship effectively. During our time of exile on earth, we must confess our hearts long for heaven. Our conversation should be marked by a decidedly Christ-like accent. And while we may adopt some of the customs of this world, our lights should shine brightly for Jesus even as this broken world grows darker.
I want to leap into the New Year, but I feel weighed down by the “what ifs” and “should haves.”
I’m limping in the worst way.
Maybe you can relate? I don’t know what you are dragging behind you like a dead limb as we close out this year, but I am guessing I am not the only one with a wobbly walk. If you feel like you can’t take another step without a little assistance, you are not alone.