What a year 2014 has been! Truth be told, it has been filled with joyous moments, struggles and heartaches.
A cousin of mine was tragically murdered in his home in South Africa, a friend lost her life in a freak accident, family sickness and other seemingly insurmountable challenges have permeated every part of 2014. But there have also been happy moments in abundance.
Many world events have horrified us. There has been so much sadness that has invaded our world this past year. The tragedies of this past week in Sydney, Australia and in Pakistan are just two of the many sad events that have overshadowed 2014.
Although I do not enjoy reflecting on the unhappy aspects of the year I know that reflection is important for my soul. To stop, pause and reflect on the events of the past year is a necessary part of moving forward confidently and carefully into 2015.
Sitting beside a cozy fireplace, sipping steaming hot chocolate, seems to mea good way to do some reflecting. As I sit and consider 2014 I am reminded of a few important things that I would like to share:
· Life is short: The Bible says in James 4:14 that our life is like a vapor that appears for a while and then vanishes away. As 2014 comes to an end, I am aware of how quickly the years are ticking by. I cannot be sure of 2015. I will live with confidence and hope, but I know that my time is in in God’s Hands and that makes me want to live my life well
· Family is precious: Ask anyone who has lost a loved one and they will tell you that they wish they could spend one more hour with that person. Our families are precious, with all their faults and flaws they are our flesh and blood and we need to love and appreciate them. Don’t take family for granted.
· There are good people all around: With all the evil in the world - and there is much – there are still many wonderful, kind and compassionate people all around us.
· The future is uncertain: None of us can be certain of the future, but we can live with deep and abiding hope in our hearts that this planet will be a better place if God’s people shine as lights in this dark world.
· God is in control: It can feel as if our circumstances, or the affairs of the world are spiraling out of control. However, I am reminded that, “He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.” God is in control of my life and the universe. That fills me with hope.
We must all confront the truths of 2014, as horrible as they have been. Some quiet reflection is necessary for all of us. It makes us sober. We realize that life is short and our days are numbered. We become increasingly aware of our human frailty and our own weaknesses. In the light of our humanity we are able to reflect upon a sovereign God who is in absolute control and who offers this world hope.
I think that is what Christmas is all about. Jesus offers this broken world His peace. True peace can only be found in Him.
So take some time to sit quietly reflecting on this year and allow those reflections to fill your heart with peace and hope for a bright and blessed 2015.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,