A Touch of Encouragement

If it’s hard to believe that it’s 2008 already, imagine how they felt back in 1751. When the English fell asleep on March 24, 1751, they awoke to March 25, 1752. It was all part of a tricky plan to switch from the flawed Julian calendar to the presumably more accurate Gregorian calendar, according to Joey Green’s “Contrary to Popular Belief“.

After the hustle and bustle and rush of the holiday season, I found myself on New Year’s Eve caught off guard with the reality that 2007 was ready to leave before I was ready to give it up. Suddenly, it was January 2 and the inevitable post-holiday let-down was creeping in. Back to school, back to work, back to the routine. Forget the Gregorian Calendar. I want the Martha Calendar that lets me go back to 2007 and finish cleaning out that closet and write that letter and visit those friends and read that book and, and, and….
With all the exciting reasons to look forward to a brand new year, for some reason I just wasn’t ready to let go. And then a phone call reminded me that it’s not up to me to get everything done on my schedule.
My sister Peggy called last night to wish me Happy New Year. I tried to sound as happy as I could about the passing of another year, but I wasn’t very convincing. And then she quoted Jeremiah 29:11. “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans for a hope and a future.”
I realized that as much as I’d like to stay back in 2007 a little longer, God has other ideas. Maybe WE need to chop up our time into days and months in order to track how much we have managed to cross off our list, but God isn’t dividing our lives into calendar years. He holds the past, the present, and the future in His hands all at once and He already knows how much time each of us has to do the things that really count on this earth while we can – to seek out the estranged friend, to fulfill the broken promise, to lend a hand to someone who is suffering, and most importantly, to spend some of that time alone with Him.
There will always be closets to clean and relationships to tend and good works to accomplish. We will do what we can, and we can find peace knowing that God’s grace will be sufficient to cover what we can’t. And that gives me fresh hope for the year ahead.
Tell me, please. What are you looking forward to this year? And what are you happy to leave behind?

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