Wow... 2010. That sounds so very odd.
2009 seems to have flown by so quickly, though I suppose people always say that at the new year. It seems more true now that I'm getting older. When you are a child time seems to move very slowly and once you have children of your own it seems to accelerate alarmingly.
We spent NYE with friends out in Temple, NH. It has become a new tradition in the last few years to share the evening with our closest family friends and have Chinese food and play games, chat, etc. It was an exceptionally late night and I didn't get into bed until close to 1:30am. That is unheard of for me now-a-days. But I was able to be up and functional by 7:30 when the dog started barking to go out. I guess that is a positive thing.
This new year we face many challenges. Personally, as a state and as a nation. Knowing that God is Sovereign brings great comfort in the uncertain days that lie ahead. Those in power in DC seems set on running our nation into unfathomable debt and a horrifying socialist direction which will continue the recession and raise taxes. At our state level we are facing heinous changes to our homeschooling laws/rules that will make life much more difficult and expensive as well as much reckless spending and potential for even more taxes. Personally we have the ongoing changes of life - friends facing serious illness, growing children, home improvement projects, bills to pay and life to live for the glory of God.
I know - beyond any doubt - that the Lord will provide for every need and be a rock and shelter in every storm. Psalm 62:1-2 says, My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. There is great comfort in those words when facing uncertainty.
Jesus himself gave words of comfort many times, but this morning, I was reading from Luke chapter 12 where Jesus is speaking to his disciples:
Verses 4-7 say: "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
and Verses 22-34 say:
Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
It is sometimes hard to remember that we are valued more than sparrows to our Creator. It may seem that He is so busy that He can't possibly have time for our small problems. But I know that is a lie. God loves ME. He gave Jesus to die for ME. He values ME. And even at the times when others may question my value or the worthiness of my contribution - God sees my heart. I love the security that knowledge brings. I am worth enough to the Maker of the Heavens that he gave his only son for me. Purchased at a cost unimaginable.
It is a humbling thought as I sit here on this 1st of January, 2010.
God loves me.
I want to serve Him fully in this new year. With each day he gives me, I want to bring glory and honor to Him in all things. It is a lofty goal. In my own power it could never happen. Yet I know that the Lord is faithful and as Paul prayed for the Ephesians, I know that prayer included me as a child of God.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.