Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Beginnings: See? I Am Doing a New Thing!—God

New Year’s 2018



In the 2nd week of Advent we briefly considered the fact that Life Takes Many Preparations, from daily responsibilities to special occasions. But even our best plans can go astray, and sometimes life circumstances can totally obliterate them. For example, a few weeks ago when I turned my attention to writing our 32nd annual newsletter, it dawned on me: I didn’t feel like I had accomplished anything  in 2017. Weird, right? Usually I have too much information to share with loved ones. But this year? Nothing! I scoured my memories, but I drew a blank. While having lunch with a good friend, I explained my dilemma. Without hesitation she replied, “You and Steve (my husband) are having a ‘limbo year’! And everyone has one.” It immediately resonated in my spirit.
Have you had a limbo year or perhaps a limbo season in your life? I think that limbo can be summed up with a line that Father Mulcahy used in an episode of M*A*S*H,
“I walk around on the edge of effectiveness.” So, how do we move forward from a state of limbo? How do we tap into the New Beginnings that God desires for us? Traditionally, this is the time of the year that people begin to make their list of New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps we need to resist making such a list this year. But what would we do instead? As I began to pray about this, I wondered what would fit into our theme, “New Beginnings: See? I Am Doing a New Thing!—God? Two Scriptures came to mind:
1) Enlarge my borders: “9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; but his mother named him Jabez, saying, “Because I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would indeed bless me and enlarge my border [property], and that Your hand would be with me, and You would keep me from evil so that it does not hurt me!” And God granted his request,” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10Amplified Bible). Whether or not you have read the popular book, “The Prayer of Jabez,” by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, we can learn from this bold prayer that Jabez wanted God to greatly bless him—beyond what he could imagine! And God did!
Where there is no vision, the people perish…,” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV). If we don’t have a vision, even a small one, we can easily fritter away our lives while we do ‘busy work’. Busy work--something many of us have assigned to kids to keep them occupied while we are doing other tasks. These two concepts do go together: without a vision, what are we asking God to do in our lives? Would we even begin to be as daring as Jabez was with his prayer? These Scripture verses remind me of Paul’s teaching to the Ephesians: “20 Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” (Ephesians 3:20, Living Bible).These two concepts do go together: without a vision, what are we asking God to do in our lives? Would we even begin to be as daring as Jabez was with his prayer? These Scripture verses remind me of Paul’s teaching to the Ephesians: “20 Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” (Ephesians 3:20, Living Bible).
May God move us from walking on the edge of effectiveness and out of our state of limbo and give us a vision of what He is calling us to do. May He enlarge our borders, including our realm of ministry, for His glory. Amen.

Happy New Year!

 

Blessings & Peace

 

Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk

Former Salvation Army Officer

Canada


 

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