Welcoming 2013

You crown the year with Your goodness; Your ways overflow with plenty. (Psalms 65:11 HCSB)
 
  Every 365 ( 366 in Leap Years) we begin again. For some of us, there is time spent reflecting on our previous year and asking ourselves what went well and what we want to see different as we reach this mile stone each year. For others, one year just seems to blend or fade into the next.  Some can not wait to put a difficult year behind them yet others prefer to cling to by-gone  days because they are unsure of or fear the future.  
    This morning, as 2013 dawns fresh and new, I found myself in Psalm 65. What a great reminder for the beginning of an new year!  
 
You are praised with silence in Zion, O God, and vows made to You must be kept.  You are the one who hears prayers. Everyone will come to You.  Various sins overwhelm me. You are the one who forgives our rebellious acts.    Blessed is the person You choose and invite to live with You in Your courtyards.  We will be filled with good food from Your house, from Your holy temple.    You answer us with awe-inspiring acts done in righteousness, O God, our saviour, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the most distant sea,    the One who set the mountains in place with his strength, the One who is clothed with power,    the One who calms the roar of the seas, their crashing waves,and the uproar of the nations.    Those who live at the ends of the earth are in awe of Your miraculous signs. The lands of the morning sunrise and evening sunset sing joyfully.    You take care of the earth, and You water it.  You make it much richer than it was.(The river of God is filled with water.) You provide grain for them.  Indeed, You even prepare the ground.    You drench plowed fields with rain and level their clumps of soil. You soften them with showers and bless what grows in them.    You crown the year with Your goodness, and richness overflows wherever You are.    The pastures in the desert overflow with richness. The hills are surrounded with joy.    The pastures are covered with flocks. The valleys are carpeted with grain. All of them shout triumphantly. Indeed, they sing.        (Psalm 65:1-13 GWT)
 
     Everything we could ever need or desire is found in God. He is the Creator; the Provider; the All-sufficient One; the One who Sees; He is The Healer; the Sanctifier; the Shepherd; the Lord; our Peace; our Rescuer and Saviour; our Righteousness and our Redeemer! These are just a few of the descriptive words that begin to describe who God is to me. I would be hard pressed to choose just one to describe Him since at one time or another He has shown Himself in each of these ways to me personally. 
 
    For today’s purpose, I believe would have to focus on Redeemer because no matter what we are trying to leave behind as this new year dawns, no matter the trials that may try to trip us up in the new year we can find redemption in trusting Him to get us through. There is much talk about a fiscal cliff, terrible tax increases, huge debt in our nation. Many people and businesses are fearful at worst and deeply concerned at best because of continued problems with the economy, problems with illness or broken relationships. You do not have to look far to see signs of this! We search for answers and for complicated solutions to the problems that surround us. We search both high and low, sometimes trying solutions that even to ourselves seem absurd. The answer is so simple and yet we complicate it, even a child can understand yet we resist.
The Redeemer wants a relationship with us be cause He loves us. He wants to take the problems and hurts in our lives and redeem them for good; to heal them so that we can help and serve others; He wants to heal and comfort us so that we can be His hands and feet and comfort others with the comfort we have first received from Him.
 
    I suppose in all my rambling what I am trying to say on the threshold of this new year is: I would like nothing more than to see 2013 be fondly remembered this time next year as a year of sunshine and roses, happy days without stress or sorrows but no matter what comes in this beautiful new year, I will rest in the knowledge that His promises are true, though often conditional and His desire is always for my good. He can bring about good from the fiercest storm and form a beautiful diamond from a dark lump of coal and though not all things are good, however “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. (Romans 8:26-28 MSG)
Just like this year, we are all pregnant with potential and purpose. We get to choose our response. Coal used in it’s raw form is valuable for heating radiating life-saving warmth or producing valuable energy ; left in the earth and under pressure and placed then in the hands of master craftsman it will become an exquisite gem with many facets which reflect beautifully to all those around.  So are our lives! We all have different functions but in His eyes are all equally beautiful and equally valuable!  
                                                     Happy New Year! May He:
“crown the year with His goodness; His  ways overflow with plenty. (Psalms 65:11 HCSB)”
                                                         as we live in His Grace

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