It’s been a rough year. Like you, I’ve faced my fair share of challenges in 2017. And, as this year winds down, I’ve had a number of people say to me that hopefully, 2018 will be better. But, every time I hear that phrase I have this one nagging thought run through my mind. What if it’s not?
What if 2018 is no better at all? Or God forbid, it’s worse? Whatever lies ahead, my prayer is that the One who brought me through this past year will bring me through the next. I pray that His grace will abound in the coming days just as it has abounded in the last 365.
Please don’t hear arrogance or some sense of false bravado in this. My fears and anxieties are as real as yours. Like you, I spend far too much time worrying about things I can’t change and fretting about things I can. My point is that the only way I was able to move through and deal with 2017 is by the grace of God. I’d like to say I managed a perfectly executed plan or exhibited the triumph that comes through sheer willpower. I’d like to be able to tout how devoted I was by praying in deep faith and expecting God to move mountains. Oh, I had a plan. Several in fact. None of them worked. I had willpower. For an hour or two. I prayed, but not nearly like I probably should have. No, grace is what brought me through this past year. Grace kept me alive. Grace helped me move through grief. Grace helped me deal with a family in transition. Grace. Grace and more grace. Grace upon grace. And, I’m confident I’ll need that grace in the coming days too.
As you enter a new year, please don’t think that some change in attitude or a self-help article or two will give you the greatest year ever. A fresh set of resolutions won’t do it on their own. Attitude is important. So is growing in your ability to manage things. And, goals are great. But grace is what you need. Grace to handle what you know and grace to move you through what you don’t. Grace to forgive and to restore and to empower and to guide. Grace that only comes from a God who loves you and holds this world and all that transpires in it in His hands. Grace that is deep and unending. So, as you bid farewell to 2017 and look forward to 2018, may the grace of God touch your life in more ways than you can possibly imagine.
And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8, CSB