As we reach the end of this pandemically crazy year I began my usual tidy up. I like to start the new year with my papers and house in as much order as suits my mercurial temperament.

I am a conservationist, so I re-use paper, making notebooks from printed pages that I no longer need. I also jot down thoughts and ideas on whatever piece of paper comes to hand, and often they remain there for months, unread and unwritten in any manuscript or article. Such are my writing habits, may the Lord help me!

I found a few of these snippets, written at odd times during the year, and in a way they chart my journey from optimism and hope for a great year, to anger and angst, to acceptance and a new level of faith. I’m not even sure if these are all mine, or if I have gleaned them from others whose journeys correlate with mine at some point.

Whatever. They ministered to me, and I hope they minister to you.

  1. I thank you, Father, that every yesterday is written in You.

I thank you for every tomorrow

Where hope will arise

Scattering ashes like leaves in the Fall.

2. Father, I thank You that no matter how dark the night, You always make a way for me to fight.

3. Paul – his disapproval shimmering across the miles of African landscape.

4. Rejoicing in the lucky breaks of others – knowing what they went through to get there. In their success my hope is kindled anew.

5. I’m flagging, but God says in your weakness I will make you strong.

I feel the reverence of the Lord, the need to kneel in my quiet time as an act of submission as I see to make Him Lord of all, because it is only in that Lordship and surrender to Him that I can re-discover my first love.

The Lord is present. He is gentle but unyielding, as He asks, not for more of me, but for all of me. If I can get there, get to that place of total and undistracted communion, I will find the peace, the assurance and so the confidence to meet whatever challenges await.

6. We bumble blindly along the dark pathways of life, so often missing the glint of the sign that would show us a better way.

There is more. Much more as I am sure there is for each of you. For now, it is enough.

I pray this season you will find the measure of faith, the peace that is promised to you by our Lord Jesus Christ, that you and yours will be healthy, safe, and rested enough to face the challenges of 2021.

May the Lord God of Israel bless you and make His face to shine upon you.

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