I was thinking of the lessons that I have learned from Him and from His Word this year. And while there are personal lessons that I have learned, this I think is most important.
"This is what the LORD says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent!" Jeremiah 22:3 (NLT)
My prayer for all of us, whether you believe in God or not, is that in 2017, we will seek to be more fair-minded and just. And that we will fight for those who cannot fight. Whether it is actually being in the frontlines through government and non-government work, doing your part to bring attention to those marginalized people and issues, telling the stories that need to be told, doing your own kind of art whether it's movies, writing, visual art, music, etc to talk about issues that are dear to you, or even just opening your eyes and mind to things that you don't understand or don't know much about and then figuring out what it is that you can do in your own small or big way.
And if you believe in the power of prayer and the power of God, to pray about these things constantly, to seek God and see what it is you can do to ease the suffering of those around you without any agenda whatsoever except to love as He has loved you, to be gracious and forgiving to the people whom you do not agree, but also to stand up for what is right and what you believe in but with love and grace.
And take care of yourself as well. While we try to look outwards more and see things beyond ourselves, you also need to examine yourself every once in a while. To seek help if you're depressed and you don't understand what's happening with you, to seek joy when you're in the darkest of places, to hold someone's hand when you need someone to just be there for you, to accept that you are not perfect and that you are a work in progress, that you need not be frustrated that the work may be taking a bit longer, that you are being changed from glory to glory.
Things are bleak, the days are dark, but there is still that small spark of hope that we can see in the things and people around us, if only you know where to look for them.
Thank you for the sometimes painful lessons of 2016.
We look forward to see what 2017 will bring and what we can do to make sure that this year will be better.