Sunday, January 1, 2012

Courage to Greet the New Year

Say hello to 2012!   It's time to find our courage as we face another year in hopeful expectation of what God is going to do, because some of us meet the fresh face at our door with fear and trembling, knowing too well the times we've lived through with our hearts torn out of our chests.    Yes, have courage; for even during those times, it has been God holding our hearts.     God is not the cause of our pain, evil is, but He is the great mender of broken hearts.  

It never ceases to amaze me the pain a person can live through and still move on.   A favorite uncle went Home to Jesus this past year.   He was a happy and much loved octogenarian.   Years ago, however, two of his three sons died in a car accident shortly after safely returning from Viet Nam.   He and my aunt grieved a horrible grief known only to parents who have outlived their own children and then continued to live the life God gave them.   They emptied themselves for others; and, as they did, God continued fill them with His abundant grace.  His church, which held the funeral, could barely hold all the people who came to honor his life.  The parking lot was full, extra chairs had to be brought in, and still people gladly stood for this man who had touched so many lives.   It made me wonder if my death could fill a church.  It might if I die to myself to live for God.

The words of our Lord:

Matthew 16:24-25

New International Version (NIV)

 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

John 12:24-25

New International Version (NIV)
24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

So bring it on 2012!   I'll not turn back.

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