This year has been ROUGH.  I felt like I mounted a wild bull on Jan, 1 2016 and it’s been bucking like a mad cow ever since.  It’s actually been a rough several years.  For that reason that other day I was thinking to myself, ‘it would be so nice if 2017 was a good or even great year.’   There’s almost nothing (outside of a great vacation), that I would want to repeat of this past year.  But I got to thinking also, that the things I’ve gained and the fruit from hardship I would not want to lose. And I was reminded of this poem by Amy Carmichael:

From pray’r that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From falt’ring when I should climb high’r,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified),
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.