“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come to pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
How many magazines, newspapers, and news broadcasts show a “Year in Review” as we look back at all that has taken place around our nation and world in the past year? We might see and remember all the headlines, major stories, and short video clips that have highlighted the previous year.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could see the “headlines” or little snippets of videos about our own lives? Can you imagine looking back at our own “year in review?” What memories, good and bad, we would be reminded of! Then as we begin 2014, do you, like me, find yourself wondering what “headlines” the new year will bring?
How many New Year’s Eves I have spent reflecting on the previous year and thinking about the one that is to come! There are always so many special memories I want to hold on to, and then there are some I can’t wait to forget. Such is life, isn’t it? Yet, it always seems as if I am a little saddened on this night instead of being full of anticipation and excitement over the one ahead.
I like holding on to life as is. I can’t help but wonder- what changes will come about in our family and in our lives, and it can be a little unsettling and even scary. But then, like always, when the New Year begins, and I open up a new journal with blank white pages, just ready and waiting to be filled in with the new stories of our lives, I become a little more open to the possibilities. What will these pages tell, and what does God have in store for us?
Isn’t it comforting to know that He has plans for us and that we aren’t just floundering about, trying to find our way? How reassuring it is to know that we are not alone, and that He is with us. His desire is that we seek Him and His presence. He wants us to come to Him, and we have His Word that He will always listen and hear our prayers, concerns, hopes, and dreams. He has a plan and those plans contain “hope and a future”.
These words seem especially reassuring this year as we think about our nation and world being in more chaos than ever before. How we all worry about how this will affect our own lives, and those of our children and grandchildren. But then, we just have to step back and remember that we have His loving promise that He will be with us, and I know from past experiences that His love and grace will always sustain us and carry us through.
In this new year, I honestly want to believe and trust with all my heart that our futures are in God’s hands. In His amazing sovereignty, He knows the plans He has for all of us and for the world He has created. Plans to give us “hope and a future!”
What a beautiful reassuring promise! So I am striving to take Him at His Word – to not fret or worry about what is going on around us, or even what might be – but to trust in His Word, to trust in the One true God who loves us more than life itself. I place my family and loved ones in His care with the belief that He has plans for all of us and whatever they may be, His grace will be upon us. May we all seek Him, live in His loving presence, and call upon Him for guidance and direction, and trust Him with all our hearts. And in doing so, may the new year bring much love and joy!
Our Heavenly Father, thank you for the blessings of the past year, for new beginnings, and for the hope we can find in you. Open our hearts to all the possibilities we can find through a life filled with you. Help us to seek you and look for your guidance and direction in all that we do. Be with our families in this new year and keep them in your care. We give you all honor, praise and glory. Amen