The end of the year is a natural time to reflect upon one’s life and, in the case of a pastor, one’s ministry. One thing I can say about 2009, it was never dull. There were times when I longed to be bored. Times when I prayed for quiet. But God had a plan and although that plan was not easy and required the loss of many things in order to remain faithful, we stand now poised to enter into the new year with optimism and hope because God is on the move and we are following him.
The words of Paul (Romans 8:31 and following) come to mind:
“If God is for us, who can be against us? ... For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will separate us from the love of God that in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Goodbye, 2009. Your job is done and you have brought us to where we need to be in time. I hated much of the bumpy ride but we are here, where God wills us to be. With each bump in the road, I was brought closer to the Lord. Nothing is wasted in his economy. No experience is without some value. He uses everything to build us and shape us for the future which is of his design and always to equip us for ministry to others. Transitioning to the new year, I pray that Almighty God will grant each of you grace and patience and wisdom and courage and strength for the living of these days. We live in a unique and challenging time full of colliding ideological forces and an on-going technological revolution which is reshaping our society in yet to be comprehended ways. But for such a time as this were all of us placed upon the earth. We may not always be comfortable, but let us strive to be faithful to our high calling as followers of Christ to be his witnesses even and especially when we feel that we are living in the end of time.
Welcome, 2010. You bring us a fresh start, a turn of the calendar page and new seasons of opportunities to sow the gospel seeds as we advance into the future our God has prepared for us. Thanks for reading. God bless. PJ