Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Midweek Moment

I am always intrigued by the beginning of a new year. This time of year is full of hope, promise, fresh starts, and resolutions. You know, those renewed commitments to lose weight, get organized, or whatever other means we articulate to better ourselves in the new year verses the old and previous year.

But as it happens, we are only successful about 10% of the time. And when we realize that we have failed to achieve that new commitment, then some of the luster of the new year is lost, and usually we begin to sink back into those old routines, making the new year no different than the old year.

But as Christians we have hope! One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Jeremiah 29:11-13, “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 on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

This letter is from the prophet Jeremiah to those people in exile in Babylon. Jeremiah is attempting to show those people that even though their situation may look bleak, God will redeem this situation and bring good from it. The same thing applies to us today.

God still has plans for each of us today. Plans that will give us hope and a purpose for the future. That no matter where we find ourselves, if we seek God, with all that we are, we will find him and when we pray, God will listen. We just need to rely on our faith, that child like faith.

For example, this past week the family and I were at Epcot in Orlando. As we came out of one of the buildings it was raining. Wesley was incredibly bummed because this meant that not only would he have to wear a jacket, but that he would get wet as well. He looked up at me and said, “why does it have to rain?!?” I started with all the answers about how the earth needs rain and the plants need rain, and he interrupted me and told me to make it stop. I told him that I did not have that he went over my head. An end-around so to speak. He asked God to make it stop. It was a brief prayer, full of faith, and offered with a gentle spirit. He was so sure that it would quit, he took off his jacket and gave it to me to put back in the bag. As far as he was concerned, he prayed, God listened, and so the rain would stop. We walked into a gift shop, looked around for about 15 minutes, and when we walked out, the only water around was what was on the ground. It stopped raining. Little Wesley, in his child like faith, understood on some level the hope that Jeremiah was talking about.

The hope that helps us understand, regardless of situation or location, God is with us. Not just as an onlooker but as an intentional participant. Not just to help us when things go awry, but so invested in each of us that he has made plans for us for the future. We just need to do our part. We need to seek out God, involve God in our lives, make God the cornerstone and foundation of all that we do and all that we are.

So this new year, I encourage you to seek out God like never before. You can do this through dedicated, daily prayer time, Scripture reading, worship attendance, and small group study, as a few examples. So do not let this year escape you. Use these tools to claim God's hope this year and draw closer to the one that loved you first!

Have a great week and see you Sunday!

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