2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV)

It’s almost the end of the year, so most of us are reflecting on what we’ve experienced since 2021 began. The last twelve months have not been easy for any of us – some folks have lost loved ones; others have seen their health decline; some have lost their jobs; and others have broken marriages or partnerships. The hopes and dreams that some of us had last January have remained unfulfilled or even faded away. It’s been a hard year, so most of us will be glad to see the back of it.

Perhaps our relationship with God has also suffered. We’ve been inconsistent at attending church or have spiritually felt lost and bewildered. Inertia has dampened our spirits and our souls are exhausted. We know that we’re supposed to believe that God is in control, but so many things have happened this year that we may even have questioned that truth. We could also be feeling guilty about not being the right kind of Christian or church member that everyone else expects us to be, so we feel cut off from God, our faith, and our congregation.

God understands all of this and thankfully His patience is not wearing thin. Even during painful and pandemic times when all we want to do is shout at God, He understands. How can this be true?

Well, we’ve just celebrated the birth of Christ who, as God, came into our world to experience humanity first-hand. He personally knows all about rejection and pain, disappointment and distress, fear and the feeling of being forsaken. Our worries, our problems, our pain and our protests are not unknown to God which is why He is patient with us and invites us to repent – to turn around from our painful places and isolating experiences – in order to turn to Him and receive comfort and love, hope and peace, rest and strength.

So, as we let go of this year and head into the next, let’s be assured of this: God is with us and will keep being with us, no matter what we face or endure over the next twelve months.

Prayer: Lord God, it’s been a hard and difficult year, one that we hope we will never have to repeat. If, during the last twelve months, we have forgotten or grown distant from You, then please, during the next twelve months, never forget or abandon us. In Christ’s Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

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