Monday, January 16, 2023

New Beginnings

Note: I wrote the gist of the following in my journal in December 1997. However, the message remains true and applicable to us today. 

As I reflect on all that happened last year, I also look toward the New Year and wonder what it will hold. None of us knows what's ahead, not even in the next hour. But I take comfort in this sentence I read in a little booklet as I waited for an appointment: “Every ending holds the promise of a new beginning.” 

I like that, don't you? Whether the ending is a good thing or a bad thing, it does hold the promise of a new beginning. Perhaps it holds an opportunity to start over.  Or an opportunity to experience growth of various kinds—emotional, mental, financial, spiritual, social, leadership, etc.  That’s exciting!

On the other hand, new beginnings can be scary.  However, there’s much wisdom expressed in an old song, these bits and snatches of which came to mind as I thought about what might be ahead:

“I don’t worry o’er the future.  I just live from day to day.  I don’t borrow from its sunshine for its skies may turn to gray.  I don’t worry about tomorrow.  It may bring me poverty.  But the One who feeds the sparrow is the One who stands by me.”

How wonderful to know that—no matter what changes (i.e. new beginnings) are ahead —God stands by us! Yes, by you. And by me. And... aren't we glad that we do not go alone into the new beginnings? That we get to hold His hand as He leads us into tomorrow, into the time of new beginnings?

To listen to the entire song, please click here.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

God Is Still in Charge!

 My heart was heavy as 2022 came to an end. I was thinking about so many dear ones who have problems that are heartbreaking and have no obvious solution. But as my husband and I traveled toward a friend's house on New Year’s Eve, we noticed the sky was a vivid orange near the horizon, making it appear as if a fire raged behind the trees.

My eyes filled with happy tears at the awesome sight before us. I said to my husband, "This reminds me that God is still very much in charge of this world." 

And, indeed, He is. He's in charge of the natural world. He's in charge of every living thing, including the human race. He's in charge of the things that happen and those that don't.

As I reflected on those awesome truths, I recalled these words written by the psalmist David:

But the LORD is in his holy Temple;
the LORD still rules from heaven...
~Psalm 11:4, NLT

Other Scriptures point out that God is in charge, even when we think He isn't. Even when we think He has forgotten about us. Even when we think He is never going to do anything. Granted, He may not resolve the situation in the way we want Him to, but whatever He does will be the right thing.

As we wait for God to act, we can remind ourselves, as did Moses as he was speaking to God's people centuries ago:

Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.

~Deuteronomy 7:9. NKJV

As we enter a New Year, let's remind ourselves daily to trust God in every situation. As the centuries-old hymn says:

Simply trusting ev'ry day,
Trusting thro' a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small, 
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Singing if my way is clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger, for him call;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
~Ira D. Sankey, 1876

Listen to (and sing along with) that beautiful song here:

If we'll trust Him, we can have a happy new year, despite our circumstances.