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Message for the New Year

See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” Exodus 23:20 (NIV)

I sometimes think New Year’s Day comes at the wrong time of year. I’m usually facing a bunch of tasks left over from the old year, like taking down the Christmas tree and putting away all the decorations, writing thank-you notes and dealing with decisions about what to do with the stack of Christmas cards. Throw them away? Save the ones with pictures? Check the addresses? Then there’s the thought of trying to catch up with all the work I put off during the holidays. I’m behind before the New Year even starts.

“Who can think about new beginnings or inspirational goals in the midst of old concerns?” I asked my lawyer-husband Lynn as he came in the door after a quick trip to the office to complete a couple of year-end responsibilities.

“Let me show you a gift I just received,” he said, pulling an attractively wrapped package out of his briefcase. On it was a card: “To Lynn. May this gift encourage you in the coming year.” It was signed by a friend in his Bible study group.

Lynn tore off the paper and lifted out a beautifully framed message, penned by a professional calligrapher. The message read:

He set the frame down amidst the clutter on the kitchen counter so I could see that simple message as I went about my tasks. Slowly those words began to change my frame of mind. If I needed something to help me carry my old concerns into the New Year, I’d just found it … the determination to face each day’s concerns, trusting in the words of this promise from the Source of all comfort and strength.

Father, each day in this new year, please help me remember that You are in control of everything.

新年的信息

出埃及記23:20 看哪,我差遣使者在你前面,在路上保護你,領你到我所預備的地方去。

我有時候覺得新年來好像放在了一年最不該來的時候。因為此時我正忙著處理去年的一大堆事情。例如,要清理聖誕樹,把所有的裝飾品拿下來整理好放回去;寫感謝卡,以及思考如何處置收到的聖誕卡片。通通丟掉呢?或只是保留有私人相片的?要不要檢查一下地址有無改變?還要想想看有沒有哪些事,我預備過了年節再處理的。我覺得在新年尚未開始時就已經晚了好幾步。

當我的律師丈夫林來辦公室拿一些文件,以完成去年的工作時,我問林,“誰能在一大堆去年要處理的事件中,去感受新年的靈感呢?”

林從他的公事轧裡拿出一個漂亮的小盒子,他說:“給你看看我剛收到的一個小東西。”上面有一張卡片:“林,希望這個禮物可以鼓舞你迎接來年。”林把包裝紙撕開,拿出一個漂亮的相框,裡面有專家的書法,上面寫著:“林,相信我。每一件事都在我的掌控之中。耶穌。”

林把這個相框放在我的廚房櫃台上,讓我每天做事時都可以看到它。逐漸地,這個信息改變了我的心思意念。倘若我在新的一年需要幫助來完成去年的工作,我正好找到了:去面對新年每一天的決心,相信那安慰和力量的源頭所賜下的應許。

天父,在新年的每一天,請幫助我記得,每一天都在你的掌控之中。(By Carol Kuykendall/舟子譯)

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