I love Christmas. I get excited by the end of September, and am already sad by December 18th–because it’s almost over. I just want to sing carols and cut cookies and light candles and shop for stockings and decorate some more. I love it.

But I always find that I lose track of the important date that comes right on the heels of Christmas: New Year’s Day. Oh yeah. A new year.

Time out. Stop the frosting and the Jingle Bells for a minute. Pause and reflect. Life will move on after all of the garland is stowed away for next year–have I thought about that? Have I heard from the Lord about how it will move on? Have I stopped long enough to actually take this year by the horns, rather than just coasting through 365 more days and nights?

What are my expectations? What are my hopes and prayers? What are the Scriptures that I want to see brought to life in my situations? And the church–what does God want to do in us this year? What sense of vision can I add to the Body? What am I going to write on my little card on New Year’s Eve?

And you know what’s amazing? God will answer those questions. When I sit myself down on the couch for a few minutes, ignoring the sprinkles that somehow ended up all over the floor, I find that new life starts to bubble up within me. New excitement. New purpose. New desire and zeal. New energy and vigor. New determination to get the Kingdom. I think of my family, brothers and sisters in so many different seasons, and I see opportunities for God to guide and move in their lives. I think of the church–people and families who I love so dearly–and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is going to build us and move us forward. I think of the world, nations that have yet to see the fullness of the glory of God, and a confidence in God’s ability to use us rises afresh.

And suddenly, I look at my life, and I know that I am called. I’m not just here; I have destiny. Glory to glory, brighter and brighter–that’s my life, my calling.

Whatever has happened before is not the sum of God’s ability. No, it’s only the tip of the iceburg. And I, like Simeon, am determined to see the glory of God unfold before my eyes. We are living in a day of visitation–God is active and moving and accomplishing His Word on the earth–and I only pray that my eyes are opened to see it.

Oh, God, let our eyes behold Your glory in these coming days. Lift our hearts from ash heaps; turn us from “the good old days” to an expectation of what’s to come; cause our spirits to believe with a faith that sees the greatness of who You are. Let us declare Your glory among the nations as You whisper Your lovingkindness to our hearts.

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