2014 is fast drawing to an end. For some it has been a challenging year, while for others, it was smooth sailing. In all that has happened we need to thank God for the good and the bad that we have faced.
Let us rejoice and thank God for the grace and love that is so amazing. As we enter the New Year, we must remember those who fought so hard to see it. We must think of people who fell hard but have picked themselves up and moved on.
Some have had to jump through many hoops and were hurt badly doing it, but managed to make it here. As tough as it has been for some, we thank God that eventually everything works together for the good of those that love and trust God (Rom 8 v 28).
We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Phil 4 v 13). Thank God for those challenges too, as there are always lessons to be learnt and we grow in those times of hardship. Challenges also create opportunities for growth, for strength of character and for doing things differently.
It is time for us to let go and let God help us start over again. In order to achieve a fresh start in a fresh year, we need to let go of things, people and places that did not serve us well or serve us at all. Letting go is not easy but important. When you let go, you open a space in your life for new things and new things are good for your soul. Let go of the past hurts, resentments, disappointments, anger, loss, loneliness, pain and everything else that does not add to your life. You must let go for yourself, forgive yourself and others. Let go to be able to be the best person God created you to be.
Don’t allow anyone to make you feel small, bully you and make you feel guilty for being you. Don’t allow people to make you feel ashamed and feel you aren’t worth anything. Let go of all the things and people that make you feel like you are a lesser person.
Take a look at yourself and reflect on the part that you have played in the story of your life this year and the way it unfolded.
How have you let others down and how did you let yourself down?
Having said that, you are fearfully and beautifully made (Psalm 139 v 13-14). God knew you before you were born (Jer. 1 v 5). As 2014 ends, let it end with clearing out the negative things and people who you have surrounded yourself with. 2014 was a bad and frustrating year for me. I’m willing and able to let go and let God.
Looking back, I’m stronger now. I went through things that made me lose myself in the process. That is the worst feeling ever. So don’t despair, hang in there knowing that you are never alone. I’m grateful that in all that I had to go through, a baby was born. House of Prayer is the beginning of a new thing, a new challenge and I know that I needed to let go so that the church would be born. We try hard to be someone we are not and please people around us. It is time to let go and let God take you to a level in your life you have never been to before.
Let us stop complaining as if the world owes us favors, but rather go out there and use our lives in productive ways to work hard and win. Contribute to the struggle against poverty, HIV and AIDS, illiteracy, ignorance, substance abuse, low self-esteem, ill-discipline and laziness. All these need a new mindset, a changed attitude, self-introspection and commitment. If we want to see change we must not hold on to the failures and the hurt of 2014. We need to forgive others and ourselves. This will be a new beginning, a new opportunity to start all over again regardless of what happened in 2014.
Our God is a God of second chances and nothing is impossible with God. It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed or fallen, the important thing is for you to get up again.
In 2014 we have lost loved ones due to many situations; crime including hate crimes, sickness and tragedy. To those who lost a love one, ngithi dudu alwehlanga lungehlanga, isintu sithi lalani ngenxeba ubuhlungu baziwa yini kodwa alikho inxeba elingapholi.
We are with you in prayer. God is the only one who knows the depth of your pain and God is the only one who can heal that pain.
Let us not forget our sisters and brothers, irrespective of challenges they faced, who brought about positive changes in our community.
We Salute and Honor you.
I pray for God’s blessing and favor to be upon your lives
May we spend the last few days of 2014 considering our own lives, our losses, our challenges and thinking of where we want to be in 2015?
Be blessed and be a blessing
Rev. Nokuthula Dhladhla