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Looking back and moving forward

Dec 29, 2021

I don’t know about you but 2021 has felt like a blur that’s just whizzed by. 

If I had to describe it in a few words it would probably be: rollercoaster, online, and grounded (in the sense of describing my non-existent travel life). This Christmas season has been especially hard as it turned out to be yet another year that I was not able to fly back home to visit my family. All in all, the past year had left much to be desired. 

In the past, the dawn of a new year has usually brought me hopeful excitement and anticipation. However, for the first time, I feel rather indifferent about the whole situation… which slightly worries me. Perhaps I’m just trying to manage my expectations for this year so I won’t get my hopes dashed in yet more disappointment and heartbreak. 

This got me thinking… As Christians, what do we ultimately place our hope in and look forward to the most in our fleeting lives? Do we have our priorities straight, or is our perspective sometimes skewed? 

Do I really have eternity in my heart and am I living my life as a faithful servant in hopeful anticipation of Jesus’ return? Or am I too invested in living my best life now, here in this fleeting world? 

I’ve been moaning a lot about how hard the past year has been, but to be perfectly honest, it has been one of the best years of my life when it comes to my spiritual growth! In my grumpiness, I’ve been convicted of my own sin. In my restlessness, I’ve been encouraged to trust God in total dependence. And in my pain, I’ve been able to experience such a deep sense of God’s peace and kindness. Even thinking about it now frankly overwhelms my soul with indescribable joy. 

In the past, it’s always been easy for me to praise and worship God when he answers my prayers in the way I was hoping. But as I’m growing in my Christian faith, I find that more and more, I am also able to give him thanks when (usually in hindsight) I see his kindness in answering my prayers in more unexpected ways. 

I see his kindness in answering my prayers in more unexpected ways. 

Rather than answering my small prayers, he’s generously decided to give me something so much bigger than I would have even thought to ask. 

Rather than bending to my will, he’s kindly humbling me to bend my will to his. 

Last year, my new year’s resolution was to grow to love Jesus more. I can honestly say that God has graciously granted my request, albeit in unexpected ways. 

What will your new year’s resolution be for 2022? 

Michele Cheng
Pastoral Worker

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