Sunday, December 27, 2020

A Prayer for More of God

Lord, as we close the book on all the sorrow and sadness of 2020 and anticipate with hope a better year ahead, give us more in 2021.  Not more stuff.  Not more happiness.  Not more money or jobs or security.  Give us more of you.

Without you we are nothing but hopeless, miserable creatures struggling to get through the challenges and heartaches of living in a fallen world.

With you all things -- even impossible things -- are possible.  Because of you we have hope.  You are Immanuel, God with us, not just during Advent and Christmas but throughout the year, in good times and in bad.

You are our Provider, Protector, Peace, Healer, Savior, Redeemer, Strong Tower, Deliverer...the God who works all things together for good for those who love you and are called according to your purpose (Romans 8:28).

You forgive us when we sin, weep with us when we are sorrowful, and rejoice with us when we are happy.  You get us, because you created us.

The greatest thing we can pray for in the coming year is to know you more.  In knowing you more we will love you more, and in loving you more we will love others more.

Lord, open the eyes of our hearts to see others as you do and more importantly, to see ourselves as you do -- holy, pure, and beloved because the blood of Jesus has made us so.

Lord, give us more in 2021.  Not less heartache, not less stress, not less illness, but more faith in the One who will never leave us or forsake us, no matter what may come.  Lord, give us more of you.  

In Jesus' name and for your glory, amen.

Copyright © 2020-2021 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Reflections on Christmas 2020

To say that 2020 has been a difficult year is the understatement of a lifetime, certainly of mine.  We all have witnessed the unthinkable -- a pandemic that has changed our lives in ways we could never have imagined and taken the lives of those we know and love.  It is safe to say that most of the families I know have been touched by sickness, sorrow, and loss.  Ours certainly has, but one thing has not changed this Christmas -- the Savior whose birth we celebrate.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Steve and I are celebrating our first Christmas as empty nesters.  Our son moved out in July, 2020 and our daughter moved back home to Tennessee Thanksgiving weekend.  Because of the pandemic we made the decision not to travel out of town, or even across town, to visit family for Christmas, opting instead for a quiet holiday at home.

Rather than buying for each other, Steve and I decided to bless our kids and those less fortunate, as generously as God's provision would allow.  Even though Steve lost his job in October because of pandemic-related downsizing God provided another job so that we would have the resources to give even beyond what we thought was possible.  We learned this year that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive.

Many friends and family lost loved ones this year, even as recently as in the days leading up to Christmas.  My prayers that God would provide the comfort and healing they and their loved ones need are coupled with the awareness that I will eventually face the same kind of heartaches that so many have this year.  It is not something I fear -- I know the heartaches will come -- but I pray daily for the grace and faith to meet those challenges in such a way that others will know Jesus truly does save and care for his own.

The year we thought would never end will soon be behind us. Sadly the days ahead don't look to bring any meaningful relief.  More than ever we all need to press hard into God because he is the only hope we have.  

God's word is filled with promises of his presence, peace, grace, power, and provision.  If you don't spend much time reading the Bible or talking with God in prayer, then resolve in 2021 to make doing so a daily habit.  It won't cost you anything but a little time each day -- an investment that will pay you the rich dividends of a closer walk with God and the peace which passes understanding.

Copyright © 2020-2021 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

What Next?

“Even when I am old and  gray , do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” ...