Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”

John 7:37-38

 I don’t really have a New Year’s Eve tradition. I have friends who make it a point to celebrate the new start by being together with family and friends, pushing themselves to stay up until midnight in order to be the very first to offer each other a greeting in the new year. It’s been fun to be a part of those gatherings in the past but lately Rick and I prefer just staying home and off the roads. Add to that the fact that I’m more inclined to rise early and go to bed early and well, this “holiday” just isn’t a big deal for me.

This morning as I read this passage in John, God brought to mind the many people who are truly “thirsty” for more in life. I thought about how the New Year represents a fresh start for millions of people. A quick rise of the glass for a quick “Happy New Year” toast seemingly assumes that every person with a glass in their hand is putting the previous year behind them. The celebratory atmosphere gives the impression that “all is well” and greater things are yet to come. But the reality is that there are hidden hurts and hang-ups that continue to linger no matter how much a person tries to move on with the turning of a calendar page.

I am thankful that no matter what the year has been like, I have hope in Jesus Christ. For me, 2018 has held a lot of change. And it’s brought some significant challenges. As I reflect on all that has encompassed the last twelve months, some of the most emotional memories are of those I am close to experiencing pain. My heart still hurts because I know that there isn’t much more I can do, even to this day, other than to pray. But then maybe that is the BEST thing I can do. So right now, once again as I pray, I add to those prayers a request for myself… that God will keep providing those “nudges” to prayerfully intercede for those whom I love.

My mind drifts back to these verses in John. How many people have I encountered this year who have been literally “dying of thirst?” I want to offer a taste of this living water to them. “God, forgive me for the many missed opportunities I’ve had to offer a drink that would quench this thirst. In addition to helping know how to pray for the hurting, give me boldness and courage to offer hope to those who don’t know You. Amen.”