New Year, New Challenges?
Many people may well be happy to see the back of 2020, it's been quite a year hasn't it?
We probably all have different views about how last year has impacted on us individually. For Christina and I, it’s probably been a bit less stressful than many others, we've been working the whole time, we've not had to isolate, we've no children at school or college; it has been a very strange year but not a terrible one for us. Not so for so many others though, our own members included.
One of the things we've missed the most of course is our weekly trip through to Edinburgh – now that's not easy for a Glaswegian to say!! We've missed the fellowship we have together at our Memorial Service, sharing the emblems, ecclesial meals and all the other activities we used to share.
Enough of last year though, what about 2021? What new challenges might we face? Initially it looks like nothing is going to change too much, our meetings will continue to be virtual, whether our own or with other ecclesias. Probably the biggest challenge for us is staying positive throughout these troubled times. We may well all be carrying "extra baggage" that is pulling us down. What can we do then? We need to in the words of a well known Disney song "Let it go!" You're probably thinking "that's easy to say" but..........
There are many things in our lives that we need to let go of in order to grow in our walk in Christ. Far too many people walk around carrying heavy baggage from years of mistakes, hurt, pain, bad choices etc. We might carry around anger and bitterness from past experiences which then affect current relationships but we have to let it go, we have to choose forgiveness and repentance in order to be kind and loving towards others.
To let go of an issue we must first understand what the problem is. Ephesians 4:31,32 reads,
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
How can we identify what it is we are carrying around? Of course we can take it to the Lord in prayer and ask for help or perhaps talk to a Brother or Sister or a friend and see if there are any problems they can see.
Next step is to do something about it, let it go. As believers we need to constantly evaluate the "fruit" we are producing, if it is rotten fruit, baggage, we need to bring it into the light. To confess and ask for forgiveness or in some cases extend forgiveness to others. The process may not be simple though; it may well be a complicated process when we feel the baggage is too heavy. This is when we need to remind ourselves, with God all things are possible, we must be willing to trust the process.
Do we trust that God has a plan and purpose for us, that He will work it all together for good? Even when things might seem like they are far from good in our lives we need to realise that God will still use it for His good in our life.
If we do recognise this, then today, the 3rd day of this new year is a good day to start to let it go.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.