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This room is small but cozy.

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This is the time of year that we’re reminiscent of the year before, and ponder what the new year will bring.

Events from the previous year, that God used to shape and mold us, are clearly realized. We are not the same people we were a year ago as we embark upon a new year of life. We celebrate the good times. Our Facebook pages are filled with photos of the moments we wish could last forever. A multitude of smiles cover our walls with vacation spots and sporting events in the background. Life certainly has been good!

However, mingled with all that joy, we’ve suffered tragedy as well. Couldn’t God shape and mold us more gently? Must we suffer unbearable heartache to grow? Why doesn’t God erase bad memories from our minds? Doesn’t he want us to be happy? Why does my sin affect the lives of those around me and devastate the innocent? Is that fair? 

We’ve sat on the sidelines and watched loved ones torn apart by unforeseen circumstances of life. We’ve attended too many funerals, watched too many marriages fall apart, and cried too many tears.

But I know joy comes in the morning. Even when life is unfair, painful, and doesn’t make sense any longer, my Redeemer lives. He is still on His throne, and is crazy about me. Sometimes we live our lives into a corner. We don’t know which way to turn, and hit a wall each time we try. We don’t know how we wandered so far from God, and the way home seems impossible. Our lives are so out of control that we are hopeless beyond words to describe it. May we fall on our knees before God and ask him to take the reins, rein us in, and rein in our hearts once more and forever more.

The new year may bring more suffering, but God has promised not to put more on us than we can bear, because we have no idea of what he bore for us. I’m looking forward to and fully expecting more blessings, more laughter, and a deeper faith for the new year. Come what may, I know God can turn tragedy into blessing, evil into good, and disgrace into honor. Let’s go forth in life with an eagerness, liveliness, and dependence on Jesus Christ. He is our creator, sustainer, and the lover of our souls.  Buckle up! It’s going to be a great year.

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