Perhaps nothing makes that point quite as much as the small gift tag from Christmas 1992 that I have tucked away in a drawer. As I remember, this tag was not attached to a very memorable gift. But this tag is in my mother's own handwriting. It simply says To Bonnie, Love Mom and Dad. She passed away the following February. This tag marks the last of the forty Christmases we shared together.
So it comes as no surprise to my family that I tend to become
How will God redeem my failings and transform me into a better wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, and mentor?
With all honesty, I am very hopeful this New Year's Eve. I am relying on His power that redeems all things to Himself. I am resting in His promise to restore and reshape me for His good pleasure; to re-establish my path; and to renew my thoughts with His thoughts.
As I read the prayers of the Daily Office for December 31st, it included the wonderful story of the healing of the crippled man found in The Gospel of John. Here is the story in the Apostle John's words as it appears in the Book of Common Prayer:
What an incredible story of transformation! Jesus not only restored this man’s health, but redeemed his future ~ Take up your bed and walk . . . sin no more! The man did not leave his bed behind, but took it with him, perhaps as a reminder of the transformation he had experienced. The man obeyed and took those first courageous steps of faith as he walked out into the city of Jerusalem on his own two feet ~ for perhaps the first time! The man was truly transformed ~ from the inside out as he was encouraged to sin no more.
And yet, as I re-read the story, I find Jesus' question to the man a little strange. Why would Jesus ask a man who had been invalid for 38 years if he wants to be healed? Isn't the answer pretty obvious? I think Jesus asks the question because Jesus knows that lifestyles are hard to change. We tend to be quite comfortable, thank you with how we use our time, how we spend our resources, and how we treat one another. In many ways, we have become invalids ~ stuck in our own bed of old habits and traditions.
I want this story of redemption found in John 5, to be my New Year’s story! I want Jesus to restore to health to those areas of my life that He knows need healing. I want Him to redeem my future. May I Him with all of it, and be willing to take some courageous steps of faith as I walk where He leads me and become who He wants me to be!
Yes, I am quite hopeful this New Year's Eve ~ as I fix my gaze on the His redeeming love ~ that 2010 will be a redemptive year .