Reflection Turned Inward Before the New Year

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Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24

I feel nostalgic in the week between Christmas and New Year. I enjoy reflecting over both hard and good times from the past year, as well as seeing the visible progression of age in my children and reliving special moments through my Instagram pictures or facebook feed. I review sermon notes and reread  journal entries. I could claim this is an exercise in growth or some other noble motive, but the honest truth is- I like feeling warm and fuzzy. I am a self proclaimed “ooey gooey”. I give out nicknames to anyone I love and refer to my kids friends with terms of endearment, like honey. If you get close enough I will hug and pat you. I love expressing love. It’s how I’m wired, unapologetically so.

Sometimes though, this style of relating, can lean too far and become sentimentality without accuracy. I can feel so good about feeling good, that I ignore uncomfortable truth God may be trying to whisper to my heart. I love this prayer of David that closes out Psalm 139. Psalm 139 is ooey gooey. David is acknowledging how God made him wonderfully, knit him together exactly as He wanted him to be. He gratefully admits he cannot get away from this loving God who is always in front and behind him. It’s  just so warm and comforting! God, who put me together like a carefully knit blanket, cares and leads and pursues me. Give me a warm cup of cocoa and a fireplace to sit and absorb that beautiful truth.

Then, the plea of David emerges from the warm, cozy yesterday of God’s work in his life to the necessary today of new and, possibly unpleasant, truth. There might still be sin lurking within. There may be fears and mistrust God wants to expose. There is need to constantly be led by a truth telling, all knowing good Father. One who did craft us and does pursue us in love, not primarily for us to experience good feelings, but rather for us to experience His goodness. The sifting of our hearts and the testing of our thoughts, refines us. Exposes places in need of repentance. Allows us to admit our dependance.

Merely reflecting on all God’s provided blessings and goodness in 2015 will not give me an accurate view of myself moving into 2016. For me I have to ask….

Did I receive those blessings in humility?

Have I treasured anyone or thing from you more than You?

Are there lessons to be learned that pride or fear are holding me back from?

Did I demand from others what only You can provide in terms of security and significance? 

In the next fews days, before turning the calendar page, these are my heart sifting questions I am placing before the Lord. I pray as you end another year, you will invite God into your reflection and allow Him to show you life giving truth as well as receive His deep love and comfort offered in Christ.

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