2018, here we go!
I pray that you will have a prosperous new year. Yes, pray, because we cannot tackle it without God. I pray that God will bless you with peace, joy, prosperity and lots of laughs. May He also bless you with strength and wisdom to get through the hard times.
We spent more than half of last year walking through Colossians. We have 18 devotions left before we start reading the letters Paul wrote to the people of Thessalonica. But before we pick up the threads of Colossians, I would like to share with you this piece that I wrote on Christmas day:
Here where we are camping on the green Garden Route, surrounded by the lush creation of God’s green fingers, a soft, soaking rain shower is coming down. As I lie in bed, I think about the past year. It was rough, filled with many challenges, but I see that we came through it. How, I don’t always know, but what I surely believe is that God brought us through it in a miraculous way. Just like the rain sifting down over us, his grace showered over us time after time.
Once again I realise that without his help and support, it would’ve been a major mess.
As I lie in bed, I think back to that night when Joseph walked from door to door anxiously looking for a place to stay, only to get the same answer again and again: “Sorry, Sir, you know it’s census time. Our little village is filled up with scores of people. We have absolutely no place for anybody to sleep.”
Joseph didn’t give up and was so grateful when one person offered his stable. As long as Maria could have a roof over her head. So humble. Her time was near.
And in a way God’s grace also showered over them.
A striking paradox: The coming of the King of all kings was not announced with a fanfare or broadcast on every news platform, but by a choir of angels to ordinary blue-collar workers, shepherds.
And when the wise men offered those beautiful gifts to Jesus, I see in the background the shadow of a huge and heavy wooden cross against the wall.
That’s my gift. The gift of life, eternal life.
Yes, there against the wall in the stable God’s grace showers down on me and you and all the people in the world. This baby Jesus came to take all of mankind’s punishment, that whole burden, on Himself. Now you and I can confess our sin and know that it is totally forgiven and will never ever be held against us. Nobody and nothing can take the promise of eternal life from us.
That is grace and mercy that rains down never-ending.
I know this new year will also have challenges. But I know that God’s mercy rain will also sift down on us persistently. That is the way God is. I know that I will again look back at the end of the year and see all the places where God carried and sometimes dragged me through everything.
God’s grace will rain down again.
I grow calm about the new year and somewhat emotional about God’s mercy rain. And while the rain sifts down around us, I realise that I cannot keep it to myself. So many people are still caught in a drought. So many people are stumbling around in a desert, longing for God’s mercy rain. I cannot keep quiet about it. I cannot be so selfish to keep the rain only for myself. I must share it. Because I’m grateful, I want, can and must: 12Teach believers with your [my] life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.
May God’s mercy rain sift down on others because you and I are prepared to share it.
May 2018 be a huge one for you and all those around you.
How does God’s mercy rain over you?
Where do you need grace?
Who is there around you who needs God’s mercy rain?
Thank you seems such a little thing to say for all the mercy rain that You shower over us, Father. I believe that I can show my gratitude by sharing that mercy and grace with the people around me through my life. Amen.