How time flies! It seems like only yesterday when the "current" and "hot" topic of discussion centered around Christmas, dresses, decoration and other usual things talked about in a family when the festive season approaches. You can well imagine how the discussion in our family would go with four girls - Robie (5), Janie (9), Patricia (13) & Nadine (16) - all having strong views. With the difference in age, their tastes and likings differ, much like when I painted our wall, all choosing different colors.
Did I have a hard time? Well, if you think I must be having a tough time, you're completely off the mark. Like Maria in "The Sound of Music", every problem has a way of solving itself and I can only gasped in amazement and wonder.
Yes, those days are gone, Christmas is done with, and we stand at the threshold of another year with so much uncertainty, yet the coming year holds a lot of promises. Some took to astrology to know the future. But I am so grateful that God created me the way I am, to hold onto Him for safety, and comfort for the journey into the unknown.
We just returned from the last service of 2010. Our pastor read Psalm 90. What a comfort! "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God." Our God is God from everlasting to everlasting! That is impossible for our finite minds to comprehend!
I have been particularly influenced by two other verses from Psalm 90. The first is verse 15: "Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil." It just simply means "let thy people have as many years of prosperity as they have had of adversity" or "let our occasions of joy be measured by the sorrows which have come upon us. As our sufferings have been great, so let our joys and triumphs be".
Over a year ago, at the funeral service of my wife, an uncle on her side while speaking described me as "unlucky". But I would never label myself "unlucky". During my earthly journey of 43 years I have seen generous doses of God's goodness and mercy upon me and my family. The love and kindness of friends, relatives and neighbors. As her soul left her, I thanked God for bringing an end to her pain. As my youngest daughter cried for her mother, and as the pain of loneliness tore through me, I could still thank God for yet allowing me to go through all that. I knew in my heart of hearts that this is not the end of our journey. We strive for something far more glorious and lasting! Psalm 30:5 says, "For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
The second verse is the last, verse 17: "And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it." This is my daily prayer - "Lord, what you have begun in me, bring it to completion." Not to squander time, opportunity and most importantly our works. We cannot establish anything, that is the duty of God. All we can do is take up a job, do it - Psalm 127:1 says, "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." Rest assured in the supremacy of God's Word. He will bring it to pass!
Our last Church service of 2010 was also a poignant one. The Church's secretary read out names of seven members who were promoted to glory during the year. The pastor offered words of comfort to their families, for whom special seating arrangement was made. It was so wonderful and so moving!
A few hours from now, we will bid goodbye to 2010 and welcome 2011. To all people on the face of this earth, it will be another year with just "one" replacing "zero". For the multitudes it will be just another year with all the ills of the past multiplied ten-times over! But for some the new year will offer opportunities to transform themselves into what God intended them to be.
And to those who walk with the Lord, the promises of Deuteronomy 33:25 will ring true: "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be."
Let me wind up with this prayer:
Dear Lord, please give meCheers to 2011 and a great chance for us to get it right, finally!
A few friends who understand me
and yet remain my friends.
A work to do which has real value,
...without which the world
would feel the poorer.
An understanding heart;
A sense of humor.
Time for quiet, silent meditation.
A feeling of the presence of God.
The patience to wait
for the coming of these things,
with the wisdom to know them
when they come.
|| W. R. Hunt
May your year be full of love, laughter & joy! May it bring happiness, good health and peace to you in generous helpings!