Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Starting Over

A new year of the Operation Christmas Child journey is beginning.  I've been praying already about the goals God wants us to pray toward for next year and, of course, I've been purchasing items for our 2012 shoeboxes.

I'm still waiting for the after-Christmas sales to go to at least 75% off, but here's a picture of a few things I found yesterday.  Four pairs of nice new toddler boys' sneakers for $1.40 each at a discount store named Gabriel Brothers and a sweet doll and new stuffed bear at the local Goodwill store.

By this time next year they'll be on their way, Lord willing, to the children God has destined to receive them.

As I think of starting over for Operation Christmas Child I think of God's goodness in giving us so many new starts.  On one hand, starting over is hard.  You're at the bottom of the mountain looking up at that long, ascending trail again.

But on the other hand, new starts are new chances to, by God's grace, do better and go further and higher than you ever have before.

This morning, before I started reading Jeremiah chapter 48, I asked God to speak to me through His Word.  The entire chapter was about the impending destruction of Moab, but then I came to the last verse--verse 47, and it reads, "Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come," declares the Lord.

Spending time with my grown children at Christmas made me reflect on all the ways I failed as a parent.  Instead of exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, I was so often judgmental and critical and I see that reflected now.  As I cry out to God for forgiveness again, I am comforted to read once more in His Word that He is a restorer.

Thank You, God, for Jeremiah 48:47.  Thank You, God, for the promise of restoration.

Thank You, God, for starting over.

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