We are in the last week of the year.. that very interesting week between Christmas and New Years. 2013 is ending next Tuesday..which just happens to be my birthday. Growing up I really disliked being born on New Years Eve. Because people were busy celebrating.. I felt like it was a strange time to have a birthday..especially since everyone was already tried out from the holidays.
As an adult I totally enjoy having been born on this date. Each new year of my life starts on January 1st.. how convenient and New Years Day has real significance for me..it is truly the beginning of a new year. I can look back and reflect on 2013 and realize that next week there will be a new beginning. You can do the same thing even if you are not having a birthday.
God wants us to look ahead and expect great things from Him. He also reminds us to look back and thank Him for all that He has done for us. As the year ends and the new one begins we are can say without a doubt that He was with us. When everything seemed to be falling apart..He was there. When we were celebrating..He was there. When we were feeling hopeless.. He gave us hope. When we were filled with joy..He was the reason.
As we cross over the bridge between the already and the not yet..we can be reminded of the promises we have in Him. He has already come into the world and His kingdom is unfolding and yet we wait in anticipation for the things that are not yet completed. He is the Redeemer and we can rest in the knowledge that this new year will provide more opportunities for His redemptive work to bring healing and restoration in our lives and in the lives of those around us!
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. (psalm 126:1-3)
Let’s start with me. My heart is heavy..reading about the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and praying for that situation..realizing how unsafe the world is..it weighs me down. Nothing can change what has happened to that woman and those that love her. It is a tragedy. This is not the first shooting that makes no sense and it won’t be the last. We live in a fallen world..a broken world. Our fragile lives can be lost so quickly and easily..we live in a state of constant insecurity as our culture moves into a more chaotic and frightening state..we all feel it.
Sounds depressing doesn’t it? I know. It all adds up to one thing..we need to be rescued..over and over. We need to be saved from all of this each and every day. We need to be comforted and encouraged. We need to be reminded that this is not all there is. We need to draw near to God and to be filled with courage and strength. We need to be thankful that we have our lives..to appreciate each new day. We need to live fully with the knowledge that God is with us.
He has us in the palm of His hand. This world may be out of control..but He knows and He sees. He cares about the condition of our heart. It matters to Him more than it matters to us. He is the rescuer, healer, and comforter. We can’t deal with all this stuff on our own..we need to run to Him and let Him hold us and reassure us. I am desperate for Him today.. how about you?
“Oh Lord, the hope of Israel, all who turn away from you will be disgraced. They will be buried in the dust of the earth, for they have abandoned the Lord, the fountain of living water. O Lord if you heal me I will truly be healed; if you save me I will truly be saved. My praises are for You alone!…You alone are my hope in the day of disaster”