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Doug Creamer: Here comes 2018

All of the pretty packages have been opened. There is a pile of things we kept and a few things that have been returned. There was all that delicious food that I can’t believe we consumed. The Christmas music is slowly fading away, and soon we will pack all the decorations away for another year. I hope you had a nice Christmas; we did, even though I was a little under the weather.

It is hard to believe that 2017 is just about over. My wife and I had some health challenges this year and we are hoping for a better 2018. I know every year has its troubles; I guess we got off easy when you think about what so many others have faced.

There are always some great memories from every year. Any day at the beach is a good day, and we had a beautiful trip to the beach this year. Days spent with family and friends are always highly treasured days, and God blessed us with many of those. Holidays and holiday gatherings are always special times, even when they don’t fall on the holiday.

Every year carries spiritual growth. I wouldn’t trade the special moments with the Lord for anything. I have felt His presence on numerous occasions, especially in the wee hours of the morning. God likes to visit when things are quiet and I am not distracted by the craziness of life. While I love my sleep, I am glad to give it up to be with Him.

I believe it is important to look back and see how we have grown, changed, matured, and even notice areas where we can improve. We need to appreciate those who have touched and impacted our lives. We need to remember those who have blazed trails for us and have gone home to be with the Lord. It is important to know where we have come from as we prepare to move forward into a new year.

2018 is an unknown. It is a mystery yet to be written. It will have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days. I know there will be some type of interesting weather and the changing of seasons. We know that certain things will take place, holidays will come and go. The trouble with 2018 is that we don’t know the particulars. We are missing the specifics.

What is required to enter 2018 is faith. We have to believe that God is with us. We have to trust that He has made good plans for our future. We have to trust that no matter what comes our way, good or bad, that God is with us and that He will not forsake us. If God is holding our hands through each joy and sorrow then we know we can face each and every tomorrow.

So with a degree of confidence we can enter 2018 knowing that God has already been there and is prepared to help us each step of the way. We can actually enter 2018 without any fear, only faith in a good and faithful God. We know that it is not going to be perfect but we also know that everything will work out for the best.

Knowing that, we can actually enter 2018 with hope. We can optimistically enter 2018 believing and expecting positive outcomes from the year. Some people might argue that we shouldn’t “expect” from God, but I say, “Why not?” I serve a good, loving, and merciful Heavenly Father who gives good gifts to His children. I am God’s child so why shouldn’t I expect good things from Him? I am going to hold onto hope for 2018.

The truth is, God is the author of all the good that comes into our lives. The goodness of God is available to us if we will open our hearts to receive it. Our good Father makes good plans for the year ahead. Each day is to be opened and cherished, some good and some difficult, but all filled with God’s love.

I want to encourage you to begin 2018 with the hope of a God-imagined, positive, good future. Yes, there will be bad days, but God is still good. Yes, there will be times when you will need to let God carry you, but I know He will. And I deeply believe that there will be some good days, days you will want to treasure forever, memories you hope will never fade.

Oh, I believe God has got some wonderful days planned for all of us in 2018.

Contact Doug at doug@dougcreamer.com

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