In a sobering way, I think (well, I know) it was providential for this message to be the last one of 2013 and lead us into the new year. Thinking about death - its inevitability, its mystery, its unpredictable nature - brings life into perspective. It makes me think differently about what happened this year, what I'm anxious about in the coming year, and what I hope for in life.
With the impending flip of the calendar into the new year in mind, we also sang a well-chosen hymn that can be a strong prayer for 2014: "Another Year is Dawning."
"Another year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting, Another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, Another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies, Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness, In the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning Upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, Of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service, Of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training For holier work above.
Another year is dawning, Dear Father let it be,
On earth or else in heaven, Another year for Thee."
These words stood out to me the most:
- In working or in waiting...
- Another year of progress...
- Another year of leaning...
- Another year of trusting...
- Another year of training...
In looking ahead to the coming year, I can see areas of my life that will include each of these - waiting, progress, leaning, trusting, training. And I'm sure there are areas that are not on my radar that will require one or more.
May I be open to all of these growth opportunities in the coming year. And may you be open to everything the Lord wants to do in your heart and life in 2014.