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By DOUG MARTIN, Religion Columnist
I recently overheard two individuals talking about Christmas. In their conversation, one explained that they were not going to have a big Christmas this year because things had been kind of rough around their house. I was sad to hear of their hardship but I was reminded that in life we all face rough times. What has 2010 been like for you?
In just a few days we welcome 2011. Many look to the New Year with enthusiasm because it represents a new start. We make resolutions to eat better, live better and act better in hopes that the new calendar will be an opportunity for something better. By the end of December, we are tired of the old year and all that it brought.
It is easy for us to focus on the negatives and forget the blessings. Let me encourage you today to take some time before 2010 is gone to be thankful for the blessings. Now I am certain there may be a lot about this past year that you would rather forget; but don’t throw out the good with the bad. We have lived another year and with living there are blessings.
Bad attitudes will always rob you of the blessings that God sends your way. So set aside the negative and reflect on the positive. How much time did you spend with your family in 2010? Did you get to enjoy a vacation, a favorite meal or a morning to sleep in? Did you make it through 2010 without surgery or major illness or accident? Did you stay warm and fed during the past year?
How often did you have the opportunity to go to church and worship the Lord? How many times did you get to hug your children or grandchildren? How many opportunities did you have to give gifts from others? Can you remember feeling the cold of winter, smelling the birth of spring, experiencing the sunshine of summer and embracing the colors of fall? How many times did you wake up with the hope of a new day and the assurance that were loved in 2010?
What a great year! The heavenly father never left you in 2010. His word is true when he says that we are not alone. Jesus told his disciples that he would “never leave us or forsake us.” Every morning you arose and every night you laid down, he was watching over you. He was providing for you. He was seeing you through. When you were faithful to him, he was right there. When you were unfaithful, he did not forsake you.
You never went unnoticed in 2010. You may have felt alone, but that was your choice. He was always watching and always waiting for you. When we understand that we have a God like this, how could we ever suggest that we have not been blessed? Have we been through hard times? Certainly! Did we have to face those times alone? Never!
“I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip; he who watches over you will not slumber.”