Saturday, January 7, 2017

January Again

It's January. Again.

For many reasons I often struggle to find joy in January. It's the beginning of a new year that should have bright hope on the horizon.  Instead, I see myself back at the bottom of the mountain deciding where to even start to make the ascent. The year's challenges loom large and make me want to curl up under warm covers and hibernate.

In my Operation Christmas Child world there is change--some beloved staff members and volunteers have left and a few new ones have come.  Change is inevitable and embraced by some but generally not by me.  I like my status quo and, admittedly, would probably have also been content to stay in Egypt--thank you very much.

I've been trying to prepare for our first Operation Christmas Child area team meeting on Monday--in just two days.  So I looked up the ministry plan template for 2017 and found it's significantly changed. Did I say how I feel about change?  How do I figure out what my total number of team members was for 2015 and for 2016 when they come and go throughout the year?  I need to work to see change as improvement instead of just--dreaded change...

God's blessed me with so much lately--lots of shoebox items provided, for example. And I just spent a couple days watching live stream of the Passion 2017 conference--inspiring (but daunting.)

Still I struggle--especially with my sinful attitude toward a fellow Christian. I try to repent but can't seem to let go of this sin and give grace to this person. I pray. Well, I try to pray. God help me.

It's time to set our team's shoebox goal for 2017. I've been praying about that, too. God, will you show us what Your goal is? I'm so tempted to prognosticate based on the number of boxes we can see packed in our own power instead of trusting You for Your provision.  How do we measure 'immeasurably more'?

And yesterday I heard of another fellow OCC volunteer who is leaving. Quitting always looks so very tempting in January.  Almost every January.

If you're reading this, will you stop and say a quick prayer for Operation Christmas Child volunteers and staff and shoebox packers all over this country?  Pray for us to persevere if God is calling us to persevere--to throw off the sin that so easily besets us and run with patience the race that is set before us.

Because.  It's January.

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