When I’ve picked a word for the new year, I’ve always had the best of intentions to write it consistnently throughout the year. I am pretty good about highlighting it halfway through the year and beyond, but the first few months seem to slip by with out a word.
This year, my attempt is going to be to share each month, reflecting on how God’s love endures for me each 30 or 31 days.
I didn’t know how exactly to start this first one, because January 2021 had many hopeful moments in the midst of some really challenging events.
And then today in worship, we used Psalm 103:8-12 to confess our sins. And I stopped when I heard and said this verse:
Anger. Here’s an emotion that I am far too familiar with, especially in the last half of 2020. In the midst of grief, anger comes up way more than I would like for it.
There are plenty of areas of my life where anger is easily harbored:
- Broken relationships from my previous work experience and ongoing family challenges
- At myself for not taking care of my physical health in a way I desired to
- At fellow citizens for expressing their own anger in a way that did harm to our democracy
- At those I trusted most, who took that trust and crushed it under the weight of pride and ego
- At those who slowed the post office services and kept me (and many others) from receiving important medication in a timely fashion.
- At a bank that closed an account and put a check in the mail that hasn’t arrived in over a month.
- At all the companies that won’t give my husband a job for whatever reason
But that verse reminds me that God doesn’t harbor his anger forever, and he has PLENTY to be angry about when he looks at me and the people around me. We don’t deserve the love and grace and compassion He gives to us. But we receive all of those things abundantly from Him, because of his Son, Jesus. Our Savior took all that anger and died with it on the cross.
I get to live in that freedom Christ won for me. And so I can move forward and live out what God has called me to, in love and faith and good deeds.
So as I look back at the first month of 2021, I see God’s faithfulness:
- A new accountability group to assist me in getting back on track to take care of my physical health
- Various serving opportunities with non-profit organizations, which encourage and celebrate gifts and skills God gave me.
- Dreaming of future plans without being held down by previous burdens
If you picked a word for 2021. What reflections do you have about it after this first 31 days?