We are all aware that today marks the last day of 2015. Some people I know are spending this day: celebrating with family and friends whom they did not see during the Christmas holiday; sleeping all day to recover from the hectic pace of the past two months of Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations and celebrations; implementing the New Year’s Eve party or celebration they have been planning for weeks; gathering information for their 2015 taxes; hunting; reading the books they received at Christmas; saying farewell to a loved one who died; and myriad other things.
As we go through this day, I wonder how many of us are cognizant that today we write the final sentence in the final paragraph of our life’s Chapter 2015.
As is my practice, I have been reading through this year’s Prayer Journal entries. They always remind me of the depth and frequency of my sinful thoughts, attitudes, and actions.
It would be easy to dwell on my own sin and failure and the disappointments that have come my way. However, I CHOOSE to focus on God’s faithfulness to forgive me and His grace that empowers me to live free from the guilt and bondage of that sin.
Here are some things that always come to mind during this annual journey through my prayer journals:
- I am so grateful for God’s unchanging and unending grace, mercy, and love, that has undergirded, surrounded, and elevated me in each and every situation I encountered; and thereby propelled and compelled me to honor Him more.
- I have been grateful for the abundant gift of many family and friends.
- I have been privileged to observe the “joyful confidence” (a friend’s phrase) of so many Christ-followers as they have walked in and through very dark times.
- I have been honored to be present as several dear saints have gone home to meet their Savior and Lord!
- Through tears of grief, I have rejoiced over and celebrated the lives of many saints who are worshiping at the feet of their, and my, Savior and Lord!
- I have been amused by, and in pain from, the consequences of still being in my awkward adolescent phase at age 57!!
- I am thankful for the ministry opportunities—counseling, teaching, writing—that the Lord has given me.
- I have been in awe of the sanctifying work of the Holy-Spirit-inspired Word of God in my life; yet I sigh at all the work to still be accomplished!
I pray that the final sentence in the final paragraph of my Chapter 2015 reads,
This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. – Lamentations 3:21-22 NKJV