Compliments of the Season to you!
Christmas is over and we begin the countdown to the end of the year. Can you believe it’s only a matter of days before this year is over? Well, before we go there, how did you spend Christmas? Did you have a good one? I had a strong one. You might be wondering what that means? How do you have a strong Christmas? Not a merry Christmas, not a dull or boring Christmas, not a joyful Christmas but a strong Christmas!
The terminology is new to me too, so don’t ask. I coined it a few seconds ago while thinking about yesterday and the day before. The experience was unusual. Quite different from what I’ve known in the past few years. There was the absence of anger, pain and a wild range of emotions that I usually experience at Christmastime. I had a strong one because I was determined to be on top of my feelings and not allow anything to bring me down. You know what? My plan succeeded! I was strong throughout. I did the things I wanted to do. I spent time cooking, worshiping God, eating, relaxing with friends and family and sleeping. It may sound boring, but the crux of the matter is that it was uneventful. No drama. No very high highs and very low lows! It was normal!!! Praise the Lord, Somebody!
I enjoyed this Christmas, really. I didn’t stress too much over my shopping. I managed to avoid a lot of the traffic jams and ensuing stress. I did my shopping well in advance and I didn’t forget to buy anything I really needed for the meals. So I was in good spirits and most things went according to plan. The ones that didn’t, I didn’t sweat the small stuff, I just went with the flow. I can’t take credit though. God has been so good to me. He knew I was afraid of Christmas because of the pain of previous years, so He showed up for me. It was indeed a peaceful Christmas. The Prince of Peace gave me peace and joy. Glory to His Name.
So now that Christmas is over, we are bracing up for another major moment in time – the birth and welcoming of a new year! How ready are you for the new year?
In these parts, a new year is a new beginning. It’s like life is starting all over again. You get a chance to have a new beginning, new opportunities, new dreams. As for me, I look forward to the beginning of a new year because I believe it puts an end to an old year while giving me a new chance, a new opportunity to improve, to do things better, hence new year resolutions etc. It’s like burying the past and embracing a new day. How I would love a new day!
I have to manage my expectations though, because a new year, in reality, does not erase the past. Oh no, the past is still very present. However, what we do with the past and how we embrace the future is the difference between a new year and an old one. There might be opportunities to rethink some past actions, try something different, take a break, a retreat, come up with new strategies to manage life etc.
So, as the countdown begins, I am telling my inner self to keep calm and think, come up with strategies, plan. What went wrong in 2018? What can I do to avoid the same mistakes? How do I confront the issues, accept the role I played in it and make corrections? How do I ensure it doesn’t happen again?
What went right? How can I ensure such things happen more often in 2019? What is God’s plan for me? Do I have a word for 2019? Do I sense where God is leading? Am I positioned to hear God in these last days of 2018? What is the plan for 2019?
In the past few weeks, we’ve been considering Joshua and the taking of Jericho in church. Joshua was scared. He had spent a lot of time with Moses while he was alive and he learnt a lot from Moses. But when it came time for him to take over and continue the journey, he was scared. God told him, ‘Moses is dead. You have to take over and continue leading My people. You’ve got to be strong and courageous. I will be with you the way I was with Moses’. (Joshua 1:1-9)
I feel God has a lot in store for 2019, but as is usual with Him, you just have to lay hold of Him to get it. Nothing is coming on a platter. Time spent in His presence, waiting on Him, taking instructions, will translate to good success. Like Joshua took Jericho on his face before God, I must take 2019 in His presence, my will bowed to His. That is the way to go! The hidden pathways will only be revealed in His presence. I must have listening ears, seeing eyes and a willing heart, a heart of understanding to go through 2019 victoriously. His grace will sustain and His hands will lead, as long as we depend on Him and call on His Name.
So, tick tock tick tock, we continue the countdown to 2019. Make sure you are quieting your soul, humbling yourself, confessing your need for Him and waiting at His feet. When we call, He will answer. While we are yet speaking, He will hear!
Here’s wishing you a courageous, victorious, fabulous 2019!
Happy New Year in advance!!!