“2016 has been the worst year ever,” a friend posted on Facebook.
I personally think that’s a little extreme,…2016 may have had its ups and downs, but worst year ever?
Have they seen all the other years?
I kid. I kid.
As parents, we know what it is like to see the year turn from good to bad, even to “the worst year ever.” School doesn’t go how you or your child thought it would go. Your child’s team doesn’t do as well as she wanted. There’s unexpected injuries, sicknesses, relationship problems, drama of all kinds, and a never-ending list of things that can frustrate your family’s year.
As we step into 2017 you may wonder, is it even possible to have a good year?
I think it is.
If we fill our year with good things.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)
Did Jesus just call us evil?
Yes. Yes, he did.
But that’s not his main point. His main point is, even if evil parents (like you and me) know how to give our children good gifts, how much more able is our perfect heavenly Father to give good gifts to his children. Which means, if you and I want good things for our families from God our Father, all we have to do is ask.
Now, I know some of you are thinking, “I have asked. And nothing happened.”
Yeah, I’ve been there. It stinks.
But in that stinky disposition I’ve found it helpful to ask God another question, “What do you (God) consider a good gift?” Because, let’s face it, God may be giving us good gifts, but we just don’t recognize them.
So what does God consider a good gift?
Not surprisingly, Himself.
We see this in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus says the same thing (likely to a different audience) as he did in the Gospel of Matthew, but this time there is a slight difference.
Jesus says, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)
Did you catch it?
In Luke, Jesus said, the good gift the Father will give to his children who ask, is the Holy Spirit. Why is that a good thing?
The Apostle Paul tells us, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Galatians 3:22-23)
Imagine 2017 being a year where your family is filled with more love, more joy, more peace, more patience, more kindness, more goodness, more faithfulness, more gentleness, and more self- control.
I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty good year to me. And all we have to do is ask.
2017 will be filled with up and downs for our families but it doesn’t have to be the worst year ever.
Parents, ask your heavenly Father to give you and your family good gifts. No matter the time or the situation. No matter the drama at home, at work, or at school. Just ask.
He promises to give you a very good gift, his Holy Spirit. And a year filled with the Holy Spirit is a year filled with many good things.