My Sisters and Brothers,
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019! I hope and pray all is well with you, your wonderful families and all GOD has entrusted to you.
Have you taken the opportunity to spend some time alone with GOD looking back at 2018 and looking ahead at 2019? I sincerely hope you take that time and space to reconnect with GOD as we leave last year behind and look forward to 2019.
I had a friend once who told me he wished he could see his life all at once so he would know what to expect. He told me that as he looked back at his life he knew that if he had seen all of it at one glimpse that he would have been overwhelmed to paralysis, there was no way he could have handled it all! But, looking back on it he realized that by God’s grace he was able to walk through those challenges and obstacles day by day relying on his faith in Jesus Christ and knowing that Jesus was walking with him step by step.
I had a similar experience this morning. I write this on Christmas Eve, a few hours before our services begin. As I prepared this morning with my pracing ( praying and pacing) through and around our worship spaces, I took a look back at 2018. I was reminded of all I experienced this past year; the trip to Haiti I was privileged to attend, the trip to England on the Wesley Study Tour Lorena and I were blessed to go on, all of the time spent with family and friends, my traffic accident on I-95 in Georgia that I am still surprised we survived, a period of anxious sleeplessness I went through earlier in the year which was certainly a spiritual attack, my mother’s progressive decline, the deaths of several friends, the way we continue to grow together in Christ here at FUMC, our wonderful celebrations of Easter and Christmas, our amazing outreach events in to our community, etc. As I prayed and paced I thanked and worshiped. We serve an amazing God!
Now, as I wandered through my memory I stumbled upon some painful events that frankly continue to impact me but I have chosen to thank GOD for it all. I have learned so much this last year through all I have experienced. Hopefully, I am becoming more and more like Christ along the way. I am sure that in a year as I stop to walk through my memory of 2019, if I am still on this earth, I will again be convinced of GOD’s continuing, sustaining, transforming presence in my life. I am sure 2019 will present us with challenges and dangers we haven’t yet considered but I am even more sure that GOD’s grace is sufficient for all our needs, that none of this will catch Him by surprise and if we trust and rest in Him, He will use whatever will come our way to make us more like Him to bless the world and further His Kingdom. Amen? Amen. Happy New Year!
In the Amazing Love of Jesus Christ,