For some of us, this time of year brings a sense of anticipation, a spring in our steps, an eagerness to meet new challenges.
For others of us, this time of year dredges up images of old hurts, gives us leaden feet, and makes us dread facing each new challenge.
And some of us find ourselves somewhere in between.
Lord, You know the truth about us.
You know our histories, our hurts, and our hopes.
You know just what makes our hearts beat faster with anticipation and what makes them palpitate with dread. So we don't have to pretend with You.
What a relief, God, not to have to pretend.
Would you help us, Lord? Honestly, sometimes we don't even know what we need, much less what we want, when we face a new season. But You know what we need. You know where we need healing, where we need help, and where we simply need encouragement.
If we ascend into heaven, You are there.
If we go down into the depths, You are there.
Lord, we confess that sometimes we've been afraid of finding You. We haven't trusted that You are good. We haven't been able to believe that You are with us and for us.
But that's not the truth, is it? The truth is that You are always good, always with us, and always for us.
Give us eyes to see that You are here, God. Give us strength to seek You with all our hearts.
And please give us courage to know that everywhere we find You, we find love.
For every need we have this school year, we ask for Your grace. You've told us that it's sufficient for us.
We want to believe.
We need to believe.
We choose to believe.
Lord, help our unbelief!
I John 4
II Corinthians 12