At long last we've made it to the end of 2009. Not triumphantly perhaps, but we've made it. So how did you do these last twelve months? What kind of year did you have?

Probably your year was a lot like mine. Some great victories, some surprising defeats, and a few "no decisions" along the way.

Maybe you had one of those years we all hope and dream for. You finally got your ideal job. At last you made it to the altar. You paid off the mortgage. Your brother accepted Christ. You memorized Galatians. You got pregnant. You read three new books. You bought a new car. You survived surgery. You saved your marriage. You overcame a difficult sin. You forgave your husband. You visited  Yosemite. You passed Algebra II.

Or maybe your year wasn't so good. "Momma said there would be days like this. She just didn't say there would be 365 of them in a row." You lost a dear friend. Your marriage broke up. You didn't read the Bible very much. You wrecked your car. You harbored a grudge far too long. You were passed over for the promotion. You broke your collarbone. You got way over your head in debt. You moved to Boston and for whatever reason, it hasn't worked out. You stopped smoking and then started again. You got in a big fight with your boss. You flunked Algebra II.

What should we do about it all at the end of the year? How can you clean the slate and enter the new year fresh and happy? During my college days I took a course called English Literature from Mrs. Sandberg. At the beginning of the second semester she talked to us about that very thing.

She said the way to handle the old year is to make a list of all the things that happened during the year— the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the positive and the negative— in a box, tie a bright ribbon on it, label it with the year, and then give it all to the Lord. Let him handle it.

Just give it all to the Lord and he will take it. "You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern" (1 Peter 5:7 Phillips).

I tried it. It works. I recommend it to you.   

You can reach the author at ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.