Happy New Year! The new year is a time of new beginnings—a do over so-to-speak. The new year is a time to make changes and improvements. As I reflect on 2016 and contemplate 2017, I think of all the things, both good and bad, that marked my life in 2016. One of the things that continues to swirl around in my mind is my attitude this year at Christmas.
This year as Christmas approached I was content. Things were not perfect, no it was far from it, and I didn’t accomplish everything on my to-do list, or buy everyone the perfect gift. What was really hard this Christmas for our family was that this was the first year that our family wouldn’t all be together. Now that our eldest son is engaged, we have to share the holidays with another family. I understood this going into the holidays, and I had no expectations. I made plans, but because I had no expectations, I wasn’t disappointed.
You see I was content.
In Philippians 4 the Apostle Paul talks about God’s provision in verses 12-13.
12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – ESV
Just before Paul says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” He talks about contentment. Being content regardless of his circumstances. Whether he was rich or poor, whether he was high or low. That is because he knew the source of his contentment, it was not his circumstances, it was Christ.
This is the place where I want to start this year. In a place of contentment. A place where I can do all things through Christ, because He is the one that strengthens me to do his will for my life. I joyfully anticipate the New year, and whether I experience Mountain tops or Valleys I want to be content, with no expectations.