Last New Year's Day, I received by email a New Year's poem written by Frances Ridley Havergal 140 years ago. With research, I found that it may be sung to the tune used for the hymn, "The Church's one foundation".
- Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee.
What Havergal expressed in her poem fit my sentiment for the new year, and one phrase, "witness for Thy love", jumped into my consciousness right off the computer screen as an answer to prayer.
During the month prior to Christmas, I had sensed an intuitive Holy Spirit "nudge" which seemed to communicate, "Pay attention!" I had been waiting for an answer to my question in response: "How do You want me to pay attention to You, Lord?"
The phrase "witness for Thy love" summed up the list of things for my attention and the best ways to serve the Lord: to praise Him; to cultivate a sense of His presence, mercies, grace, and faithfulness; to respond to life with joy, trust, and happy, quiet rest; and to stay curious about the next new or wonderful revelation coming through the Holy Spirit.
Many of my prayers since New Year's Day have been, "Lord, show me Your love here." Each time, I have seen, felt, heard, tasted, or smelled an answer. I have received more hugs, heard more affirming words, noticed more fresh flowers, found more that's wonderful in my personal Bible and prayer time, enjoyed food and exercise, marvelled at birds in flight, been awed by sunlight's reflection on a snow-covered landscape, and much more!
The experience brought these Scriptures to mind:
Proverbs 4:20-23 – Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they're bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts. (MSG)
John 10:10b – [Jesus said:] I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). (AMP)
Please, try out the prayer: "Lord, show me Your love here."
Prayer: Father, in heaven, in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord, we ask: may we be attentive to Your love and generous to share it with others. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Standing At The Portal Of The Opening Year" (Lyrics)