Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Verse for the New Year

Last year I was challenged to ask God for a scripture verse for the year. I thought it was a great idea – a guiding verse can really make a difference at times when things get a little grey and blurry in your life, or when discouragement threatens to keep you from doing what God wants. I prayed about it right then but quickly forgot all about it. A reminder brought it to mind again and again I thought, yes, good idea, must do that. I tossed up a short prayer, something like, “Lord, a verse would be nice.” And promptly forgot about it again. That went on for about two weeks. As time went on each time I thought about it I felt guilty. Still haven’t done that, I chided myself, and went on my way doing all the busy things that are occupying my life.

Then one morning I sat at my computer ready to write my column and opened my Bible to find the scraps of paper on which I scribble ideas and thoughts during the sermon and throughout the week. Last Sunday’s bulletin caught my eye. I scanned its pages and stopped on a four by four inch square on the back page – it’s a picture of a lake in winter, the steam rising from grey water. I was raised on Lake Huron, so it made me a little nostalgic. Then I read the words superimposed over the scene.

“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His Name; Bring an offering and come into His courts.” Psalm 96:8-9

It was one of those moments when you feel like you’ve been tossed a lifeline. “It’s perfect,” I thought to myself and clipped it out of the bulletin. Then I smiled as I realized how gracious and good God is. He heard those little prayers tossed up quickly and without much thought. I didn’t have to go searching for a scripture for the year, I didn’t have to struggle over it, and I didn’t have to feel guilty. All I had to do was receive what He had for me, ready and waiting.

How often do we do this to ourselves? We burden ourselves unnecessarily with the weight of guilt, of “should have’s” when God is quietly working and putting things all in place, getting it ready to be revealed at the perfect time.

2010 is about to leap into our lives, ready or not, but we don’t have to worry. God is in control. Let’s all be encouraged and filled with the joy of knowing Him.

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