by John Armstrong
Have you ever stared at a blank page wondering what in the world you are going to write? Some of you probably remember the stark terror of the blank page from your days in school and are glad you no longer have to write like that anymore. There are those in our midst that relish the thrill of the myriad opportunities that a blank page represents. For the next few minutes, I would like you to join me in thinking about the fact that we are entering upon a brand-new year and in many ways, it is like a 365-page blank journal for you to write in. Now, if you hate writing, you are certainly not going to be comfortable with my illustration, but for the sake of my writing, please bear with me. I promise, I will not make you write anything this year. However, when you think about your life and compare it to a journal, what is that journal going to contain? What will fill the pages? If in 10 years you were to come back and read this journal of 2019 what would you want to find in it? I’m guessing that you are like me and you don’t want to come back and find a journal full of blank pages. Blank pages are those days and times that have been wasted. Some of those pages are not going to be blank because life is going to happen in spite of us. Things are going to come your way that you were not expecting. There will be those things that you plan to do and will carry out. No one has a completely empty journal, but that brings us back to the question: “what do you want in your journal?” I want my journal to be filled with good things, fruitful things, things that count for eternity and not those things that are just filler. Too much of my life is filler. Even when I’m busy doing seemingly good things I can be missing out on doing the best things. My prayer is that God would guard me from filling my time with “good” and enable me to do that which is “best” (not from my perspective, but from God’s perspective). I want a journal that is filled with that which pleases the Lord. Holding the same metaphor, as we come to the end of another year we are closing out one journal to start another. What is in your journal from this year? What is in there that causes you to rejoice in the Lord? What is in there that fills your heart with praise? What is in there that drives you to your knees in prayer? What is in there that fills you with repentance? As you think about those things, I hope you will find it helpful to consider for next year. My prayer for this next year will be that those things I need to repent of this year will be killed in me. Lord, help me to grow in grace and make me an instrument of your grace even as I am a trophy of your grace. Praise the Lord for His great grace to us in Jesus and praise Him that He is giving us empty pages to fill for His glory. May He indeed be glorified in our lives.