A Time to Reflect

As I write this reflection, it’s still 2021. While it is tempting to look toward the new year and things to come, it is fitting to first reflect on the past and learn a few things from it. So today I am taking time to reflect on my life and thank God for the gift of another year.

It’s not so much about what I accomplished this year, or which goals I met – that’s not where I want to focus my thoughts. The still, small voice within is drawing me to a different kind of reflection. What impact did my life have on others? What relationships did I build upon? Whom did I love? From whom do I need to seek forgiveness? What relationship needs mending? In what situations did I reflect the love of God, 0r point someone else to the Savior, Jesus Christ?

It would be an easier task to name the achievements of 2021 – few as they may be. I lost # pounds, I read # books, I supported # charities, I paid off # credit cards. These are easy to list – all measurable accomplishments. The other list is going to take some time for contemplation and prayer – to help me assess the events that took place this year – with the eyes of God showing me the way.

As I move into praying about this, I hear God’s word speak to my heart: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” (Psalm 24:1 NLT) This helps me to remember that everything and everyone is precious to God.

Then I heard these familiar words: “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV) This helps me to remember also that everything happens in God’s time and for His purposes.

Then came to mind these words of encouragement: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.” (Colossians 3:23 GNT) This helps me remember that His purposes are higher, eternal, and kingdom focused.

If I want to fully immerse myself in God’s eternal purpose, I need to trust Him in all things and at all times, believing His promise that “God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 CEB). So, as I reflect on this past year, I pray that God will open my eyes to see His greater purpose in every relationship, event, and situation He has ordained for me. I pray the same for you.

Dear Lord, thank you for another year of life. You have gone before me and behind me every day. You have made my path straight, through good times and also through the difficult days. Your love and faithfulness are my strength and help in all things. God, I ask for your help today. Give me your heart for the people you have brought into my life. Help me to see with new eyes the things I can change, mend, and forgive. Let me be an instrument of your love and mercy, so as to reflect YOU to the ones in whose presence I live out my life. Bless each one in this new year with faith and hope in you. I pray that my actions this past year have been an offering of my body “as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to you, God – an outpouring of my true and proper worship.” In Christ’s Name I pray. Amen.  (Romans 12:1 NIV)