Praise the Lord, my soul;Psalm 103:1–5
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
I remember my affliction and my wandering,Lamentations 3:19–23
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
One of my favorite things to do between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays is watching and reading year-end reviews. Recounting the year’s top 10 movies, most-read stories, and best photos reminds me of highlights and important events I may have missed or already forgotten.
Reviewing our personal highlights can also be helpful. Several years ago, Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich shared a list of helpful year-end reflection questions. I invited my family to record their answers, and we enjoyed listening to each other’s reports on New Year’s Day. I saved their responses, and it’s been fun to look back with joy and gratitude at what was important to each of us through the years.
Reviewing our year can also be considered a spiritual practice. Honestly, it’s a practice I sometimes avoid, especially when the questions move from surface level to deep reflection. I worry I won’t remember everything, and I don’t relish reliving the difficult moments. But I would miss many moments of beauty if I didn’t take time to reflect. It helps me imagine Jesus sitting next to me as I ponder, wiping my tears through the painful memories and celebrating with me through the happy ones.
Author Beth Moore tweeted last week about her year-end process, calling her reflections “preserved records of God’s faithfulness and [her] trek through thistle and thorn with Him.” She closes by giving the new year to Him with open hands and a trusting heart of anticipation.
Through good times and bad, God is with us. He forgives, heals, redeems, and satisfies. And he promises new moments of love and compassion each day. How can you thank Him for His faithfulness?