It has been seven years since I moved to Arizona—seven tough and challenging years. Please don’t misunderstand me, there have been many good things and blessings. But overall, difficult. But this year as it turns out has been the worst. With that in mind I’ll spare you the details of blow-by-blow challenges that have come my way.
But thank God tomorrow is the new year. So, it is a time to both look back and look ahead. Let me share with you how I did that today.
I read this earlier today: Thus far the Lord has helped us. (1 Samuel 7:12)
The words “thus far” help me look back to the past. On my journey “thus far,” the Lord has brought me through so many things, I’m grateful to be alive another day. I thought back about twenty years in the Army, Vietnam, getting robbed when I lived in NYC, to name a few.
And, that in His mercy and grace, He gave me the strength to do a last-minute plumbing repair job and a few other critical chores this afternoon. I don’t know about you, but plumbing wears me out—praise be to God that he didn’t make me a plumber (although I definitely thank God for them.)
So, the Lord has been the faithful “rear guard” of my past as He promised to Israel and to me: “For the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 52:12) The past is covered! (Dear Reader, if you are reading this, you are alive, right? So, the Lord has been your rear guard whether you know it or not. I believe it!)
Now, my hope is that if the Lord God gives me (and you) life tomorrow, then it isn’t the end. So look forward. No matter what trials and tribulation come our way, we have this to look forward to as promised in our future (in Revelation 3:5):
He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God] will accordingly be dressed in white clothing; and I will never blot out his name from the Book of Life, and I will confess and openly acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels [saying that he is one of Mine].
So, I can’t help but be excited for what has past (even if I didn’t think so at the time) and what is to come. I hope you share that excitement with me and with what the Apostle John heard and saw as he wrote in the book of Revelation 5:13. I leave this with you as we end this year and begin the next. Happy New Year to all and to all God’s Grace and Peace.
And I heard every created thing that is in heaven or on earth or under the earth [in Hades, the realm of the dead] or on the sea, and everything that is in them, saying [together],
“To Him who sits on the throne and
to the Lamb (Christ), be blessing
and honor and glory and dominion
forever and ever.”