So here we are
Christmas has come and gone, and while the decorations are still up, presents may still be strewn around the tree, and our bodies are still recovering from all the sugary treats, the days on the calendar still flip and life goes on. Tonight we celebrate 2022 taking its place in history.
I took this week off, as I have for years – first, because the kids were out of school and now just because its a slow time of year at work at my job. It allows me to do some fun things just for myself, but also to take the days a bit slower paced and get things done that have been waiting in the back burner for a while. At least for one week – no needing to be ready for 6:30am work calls! (but once an early riser, always an early riser.)
The other morning, I was reading in Hebrews, and the familiar words sunk deep into my soul, like a balm going into the new year. I smiled as I looked at a hand-written note dated 4/2021 where this first became a passage that came alive for me, in a way I have come to understand in my own life is the voice of the Spirit.
I offer it to you as well, that you may be encouraged – no matter what this year has brought. Some of you may come to the end of this year with lots of fun and happy things to think back over. Others may look back at a year full of more hard and fearful things. Or perhaps you can look back and realize it has been a year with a mix of both.
“So take a new grip with your tired hands, and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall [to twist or turn out, be shunned or turned away] but become strong [ healed, made whole]” — Hebrews 12:12-13, New Living Translation
The words I put in parenthesis in the passage above are based on the Greek words used. The image of course is of physical weakness, like if you were to make sure there were not rocks around for someone on crutches so they don’t twist or hurt their injured self any further. But the richness of this also comes, I think, when we see this also from a bigger “person” perspective.
Today, I offer this passage, that it can become a calling of sorts, as if you were standing on the beach or the top of a hill, wind whipping, eyes closed and listening to the Voice of the One who created you:
It’s ok that some things have been hard.
You’re stronger now.
You know this road, and you know how to recover from what walking it has done to you.
Be encouraged, my dear one.
Your tired hands, your weak knees
have carried you through, and you are still here.
Breathe in my very breath, for I am the living God,
and let me give you my strength.
There are others that will need you in the years to come.
They will need your voice, your hands, your story
Your giving of yourself
They need to know it can be done
That not everything destroys
…and that life can be found in the most curious of places
I realize that there’s nothing magical about a new year… yet somehow the turn of the calendar pages offers the chance to be reflective and see how far you’ve come. My prayer for you is that however quiet or crazy tonight is, whether you can stay up past midnight (or if like me, you are happy to count East Coast new years as “midnight” as well)…that you know you are loved and cared for.
Breathe deep, and let hope arise. God is not absent from this world, in all its mess and clutter. The journey home is long, but He is faithful. Purpose to know him more this coming year, and you will find deeper life than you have ever known.
Happy New Year my friends!
Thank you, Tama, for a wonderful blessing. I receive it!!
My “word” for 2022 was “BETTER.” My back is better, more than I thought possible. This year of getting better has gone quickly and with so much grace.
2023 brings the word “BELONGING.” I’m excited to see what that word brings to mind a year from today. My guess is that it will be different than what I can imagine now, and I’m hopeful for what sits in faith with me.
Love you, my friend. You are a place where I belong. I’m deeply grateful for that.
I love this Kate! Thanks so much for sharing – love you too!