Well, the year 2020 is upon us, and as we focus on the year ahead, we look for clarity in what God has in store for us. Hopefully, the Christmas season brought you newfound energy and hope to help you start the year off on the right foot.

Maybe last year was a great year. Perhaps you started a new job that you love, moved to a new home, or welcomed a new addition to your family. Maybe you felt last year was not-so-great. Perhaps you lost a spouse or friend or both, or lost your job, or had constant health issues. Possibly your year was like mine and had both its ups and downs. My family lost a few close relatives and friends, but we also saw family and friends marry their loves. It was a year of mourning and a year of celebrations.

On New Year’s Eve, my wife and I were blessed to gather and celebrate with our church LifeGroup. It was a night filled with fun, laughter, and an unhealthy amount of delicious food. As we prepared to turn the calendar, we went around talking a bit about what we hoped the new year would bring and what we were going to do to make it a reality. The first half was easy, but discussing how we planned to make it happen instantly brought accountability.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”Isaiah 43:18-19

As dawn broke the next morning, it brought a renewed sense of hope. We looked forward to how God was going to use us to further His kingdom over the next year with anticipation and excitement.

I vowed not to hold so tightly to things that are out of my control. All I can do is let go of my past challenges. I can’t control the thoughts or actions of others, but I can only control what I think, say, and do. After all, we can’t re-live yesterday, nor can we live tomorrow. We are not guaranteed the entire next year, month, week or even day, but we can be grateful for what we have been given— this moment—and live it the best we can.

We will all most certainly stumble and fall at times, but we must pick ourselves and each other up, and strive together to honor God. So, let’s make today meaningful and live the best possible life, cherishing each moment for the gift that it is.

May your year be filled with much joy and laughter and may your faith and love for God be renewed.

Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.Psalm 98:1

Mark Etting

Author Mark Etting

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