I love this time of the year.
The holidays and time with friends and family.
The great food, the time off from work, the celebration.
But one thing that I always look forward to is something that comes after the 25th.
It usually happens between the 29th of December and the 5th of January.
I sit down with a journal and a pen and start to think and write.
In the past, I started with ambitions and goals for the new year.
I love blank slates and fresh starts. It rejuvenates my soul.
But this year I started the process a bit differently.
Before I sat down to make resolutions, I made time to reflect.
I scrolled through social media to see all the things that took place.
I thumbed through my journal to peer into the ebb and flow of my thoughts.
As I sat there and reflected on it all, there was only one word I could find that could sufficiently describe it all… GRACE!
Grace in my relationships.
I have so many caring, faithful, fun and Jesus-loving people in my life.
Grace in my provision.
God provided in some unexpected and timely ways.
Grace in my opportunities.
God opened some amazing doors that were out of my reach.
Grace in my salvation.
I still managed to doubt and sin and yet God still forgave and justified.
I am so unworthy. I doubt. I sin. I lie. I covet. I lust. I fail.
I break my promises. But God keeps His.
I am impatient. But God is always on time.
I am weary. But God is everlasting.
I am a mess. But God extends mercy.
When I look back on 2018 it’s not that I don’t see the hardships and blunders, the pain and the losses, it’s just that I tend to see GRACE more!
Grace was there in my highs, providing the strength, and grace was there in my lows, filling in the gaps. It was God in and through it all. How do I know? Because, left to my own plans, my own strength, my own desires, I would be in a heap of hurt with no hope.
As I sit down to set goals and carve out some thoughtful New Year resolutions, I am doing so with the expectation that the grace that carried me through and defined 2018 is going to continue to carry me through and define 2019. It’s not something I presume upon based on how good I will be. It’s something I bank on based on how good God is. If it was “BY GRACE that we were saved” it will be BY GRACE that we will be sustained!
Praise God for His unending kindness to you in 2018 and then praise Him for the coming kindness to you in 2019!