I hadn’t actually planned on writing a “new year blog” however, having had some time this morning to just sit and “ponder,” I thought I would pass on a few thoughts.
I imagine most, if not all, will know the story written by Michael Rosen called “We’re going on a bear hunt” with the repeating chorus within the storyline of…
“Can’t go over it, Can’t go under it, Can’t go around it, Got to go through it!”
Well, one of my, perhaps not exactly profound ideas about the upcoming year, is simply, we’ve “got to go through it,” with an understanding that, be it good days, or not good days, happy or sad days, good health, ill health, there will be no shortcuts.
Bob Gass in the daily devotional “Word for today,” recently wrote of how when we are driving at night time the car lights don’t show us what’s around the corner, so we drive on the bit of the road we see now, and allow the road with all its twists and turns to then open up before us as we go.
In a book I’m reading called “Wrestling with wonder” by Marlo Schalesky, the author says this of the nativity story- and I’ve slightly paraphrased her writing-
“Sure Mary first had the experience of seeing an angel, but then after that, it must have seemed as if she was on her own. God could have intervened but He didn’t, so step after step, mile after mile, Mary simply had to go on. One step at a time. Forward to a place she did not know, for a reason she most likely didn’t understand.” However, Schalesky also offers the comforting reminder that…”Not only is our God the God of the journey, but He is God in the journey.”
The chapter concludes with these words…”Hear God whisper now to your heart: “If there was another way to get you to where you need to be I would have sorted it out. But this is the only path. This dusty, rocky road is my will for you. Walk in it. Trust me and travel onwards towards your Bethlehem. I am the God of the journey. I am the God in the journey. Walk with me””
Of course, none of us know what the coming year will bring, hopefully much joy, times of rest, glimpses of mountain tops, but perhaps difficult times as well, and as tempting as it might be to want to avoid some of the days ahead, it is my belief that doing so could mean we would miss out on blessings, along the way. Blessings which so often come wrapped not as we might have them wrapped, and which we need to pause often and be still with, in order to see them as the Fathers blessings in disguise.
And so we pray…..
Father, stepping into this new year we say, we delight to walk in and through it with you trusting you who are Alpha and Omega to continue to work your purposes out within all our lives, even when we may hardly know at times how to take one more step, and certainly during times we may not understand, so that, when we reach our Bethlehem’s, you will be born in us anew, in ways we might have never thought possible.
Give us patience, non-judgment and kindness with fellow travellers we will meet along the way this year mindful of your instructions to be slow to speak and get angry but very quick to listen. (James 1:19)
And thank you for your encouragement in all our days, in this day, to be strong and courageous, to not be afraid because you are going ahead of us and your promise is to never fail or forsake us. Amen.
Yours in Him,