I love Monday mornings. Crazy isn’t it? I didn’t always feel this way. But in recent years, I’m just thankful for new beginnings. And here we are at the ending of a year which means there is a beginning just around the corner. Tomorrow, January 1, 2015, to be exact.
With new beginnings come expectations. Sometimes lots and lots of expectations. Funny thing is, fear can often trail expectations, for with a hope, there is a fear that the goal, the end result, the pursuit, may not be reached, may not come to fruition. And fear? Fear, like a cold frost in the morning, can make us freeze. Fear analyzes situations and paralyzes a heart from moving forward. To be a bit vulnerable here, I’ve been a bit in that paralyzed mode for a few days. It’s been a tough year and there are so many loose ends. Some loose ends are in my power to tie up, some are not. And maybe that’s where the fear comes in. Maybe not.
But, as I read my devotion this morning, the hope poured through the pages. It started out with one of my all time favorite verses: Isaiah 52:12 says “You shall not go out with haste,…for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” Years ago, (actually, decades ago!!), a dear friend gave me this verse as I started my journey of independence. It was such a great reminder of how God not only knows what goes before us, but HE GOES before us. Prepares the way. And He is our rear guard. He picks up the pieces behind. I so love that and treasure that.
So reading the following words this morning? They breathed life and hope into me. Hope, not haste. May they do the same for you.
Security for Today. “You shall not go out with haste….” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.
Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.
(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His HIghest, December 31 entry).
So, here’s to pressing on daily to use the gifts we’ve been given right where we are. Here’s to learning from lessons past and moving forward to impact the lives of those in our own little corner of the world, and letting God go before us and lead us where we will. Here’s to facing the future, the moment, with hope. And determining to be wise in the moments of our days, because our days, our moments, are so very numbered. They are a precious, precious gift. With the passing of another year, we are so reminded that time goes pretty quickly…especially as we get older. Here’s to faith, not fear. Faith in the One who goes before us. Here’s to hope, not haste. And here’s to taking steps to move forward, moment by moment, knowing that He has prepared the way ahead, and picked up the pieces behind.
Hopeful New Year, friends!