Hi Everyone. I hope you had a hope-filled Christmas, even if you’re in the midst of grief, loneliness, or confusion. Perhaps even burdened with shame or fear. Life isn’t always easy, is it? I have been thinking of you all, whether I know you in person, online, or not at all. I hope each of you may find this place a safe haven and a harbor of hope. Know you are always welcome here. I continue to pray for you, knowing God knows each one of you and not one of you is out of His reach. May 2017 be a year filled with the unconditional love and the sufficient grace of Jesus for each of you!
For three years now, I have chosen a “One Word” and tried to focus on it throughout the year. To trust God more fully. To follow Him more devotedly. To open the broken places in my heart to His healing love and grace. Each action is not confined to a single year but is a continual learning process in life’s journey.
Now it is the beginning of another year, and I prayed about what word I should choose. So many words fought for my attention. As I struggled as to which one God wanted me to choose, questions pummeled at me. Why do I always pick words that involve something “I” need to “do?” Yes, we are called to be active, not passive, in seeking for God, but… Why don’t I concentrate more on just resting in God’s arms of love and grace? Why don’t I focus more on Jesus who is the only source of grace that enables me to do anything at all?
“Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are.”
(Casting Crowns in “Who Am I?”)
So I decided not to pick one word this year. I just want to focus on my life being more about Jesus and His grace. Not about what “I” need to “do” for Him, but about what He has done for me. With John the Baptist, my desire is:
“He must become greater and greater,
and I must become less and less.”
Jesus is the Source of all hope, healing, and freedom. He offers us a bottomless pool of His love and grace. When our hearts are filled with His living water, hope replaces despair. Our wounds are soothed and the ointment of His grace heals our hurts. The chains of shame and insecurity that hold us captive must fall away to the freedom to fly in Jesus.
As I looked back over this past year, I found the most visited post for 2016 was God’s Love Can Shine Through Our Brokenness. We so easily see ourselves as cracked pots that are good for nothing, but we need to remember that more light can shine through a cracked pot than a whole one.
So as we head into 2017, let’s remember God uses the broken. And it all starts with Jesus.
Perhaps you are entering this new year with a heavy heart. So many troubles that overwhelm your soul. Hurting? Rejected? Alone? Does it feel like your hopes are crushed and your prayers go unanswered?
God’s heart aches for you even though He may seem so silent and so far away. He has promised to be with you. It may not feel like it sometimes, but He is faithful to His promises.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Who Am I?
by Casting Crowns