I pray that this year He will remove my unbelief. It's so terrible and terrifying to live without knowing Him... to think that He has forgotten you, or never knew you. Terrifying, yet another reason to study His word and doctrines in hopes of drawing close once again (or, for some, in the first place).
Merry Christmas to you and your family. Let this be a common prayer, that we would each come to know Him in a real way this year; to know Him as He truly is and to honor Him as such.
There are so many reasons we could be cynical, aren't there? There are undeserving people getting hired to luxurious positions of influence while earnest, hardworking people can't find a job at all.
There are babies having babies, babies killing babies, silly women trying to lead others by the power of their personalities while decent, gracious women who just want to love their kids and bake pies are demeaned as "backwater."
There are agents in popular culture who savagely force-feed us stories of murder, rape, white-collar crime, violence against the vulnerable and sexually perverse exploits while yet gentle teenagers genuinely struggle with whether or not hand-holding is ok.
In my own time and family, I have seen more emotional fallout than material struggle. There have been years of troubling, high-decibel fights, a divorce and remarriage, a difficult custody trial, drug abuse, unpredictable disease, psychological depression, two instances of jailing following arrest, too many "I hate yous" and too few "I love yous."
On the national scale, we have an outgoing President who some feel has been God's punishment on our nation because he helped us go to war. On the other hand, we have an incoming President who some feel has floated into office on a false pretense that his being black means something substantial about racism in America.
And in my own mirror, I have seen my once highly-admired beauty fall strand by strand into the sink, inexplicably, taking with it a great portion of both pride and confidence, leaving behind questions to be answered only by God Himself: How? And why? If you had asked me then, the best part of me had been taken away for no good reason.
There are many, many reasons to be misanthropic. Yet today I find myself an optimist, not a cynic. It is not because I see so many undeniably good, selfless acts committed by people every day, nor because I see myself doing similarly. In fact, it has nothing to do with people at all. I can be an optimist only because God is One who does everything selfishly for Himself, and because I am one of His people.
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?