At the beginning of a new year, there is usually so much anticipation. We expect new things, good things. We anticipate that the year has packaged gifts ready for us and we are just itching to open those boxes to see what we got! It is an exhilarating experience, especially as we move away from a particularly difficult year. It is my prayer that our expectations will not be cut short, but that we will experience and testify the goodness of God in this year 2020.
For Mary and Joseph, their joy was mixed with sorrow. They knew that the child they were being given to raise was not and would not be like other children of His time. He was special. Prophecies were being fulfilled at His birth and the parents each had angelic visitations. Things were definitely not business as usual.
Our lives are filled with many uncertain outcomes. We have very little or no control over what happens in the next moment. Hence we tend to be anxious. The Bible tells us not to be anxious about any thing. Instead, we should pray and bring our issues before God. There’s also a promise that in its place, we will have the peace of God. Jesus said which one by worrying can add a cubit to his life? (Luke 12:25). Indeed, we can’t.
So, what solution do I have to experience joy and encouragement on an ongoing basis? Look up! That’s what the preacher said. When you wake up in the morning and everything in you tells you that you are nothing and not deserving of a good day, you look up and remind yourself that it’s true. You don’t deserve a good day, but the One Who loves you more than you can ever love yourself has already gifted it to you. You only have to receive it. And even if the day still brings with it sorrow or pain, you can be assured that the One Who loves you is aware of it, and is working everything out for your good.
I was recently going through an old journal of mine, written over eleven years ago and found this interesting portion, which I decided to share today.
She was too stunned to think. She didn’t know what to do to stop him and tried to evade his blows, without success.
He kept shouting at the top of his voice and attacking her. When she lost her balance and fell, she remembered that the steward was around and started shouting at the top of her voice.
He looked around to be sure everything was going well, before heading to his designated table to have dinner. The band leader chose that moment to change the beat and started playing a very upbeat tune, a mixture of afrobeat and pop, very African. Out of the corner of his eye, the captain noticed a couple at the next table get up to join the dancing couples on the floor. He did not pay much attention and continued with his meal. It had been like any other trip and he was glad that it was ending uneventfully, especially as his experience had taught him that anything could happen at sea. He had learnt never to heave the sigh of relief until the last passenger had safely disembarked.
There are some things I am learning nowadays that are profound and I feel I ought to share. They are not new things, but I realise that they are things that we easily forget. It’s like a cool glass of water on a hot day! You may have taken several drinks of water before, but when you get a really cold glass of water on a hot day, coming out of the sun, you doubly appreciate that water.
God delights in our praises. And He still wants to hear our voices lifted in praise, whether we are reciting psalms written ages ago or we are bringing our own poems, as a sacrifice of our lips and hearts, in thanksgiving and praise to His name.
Many emotions run through the survivors’ minds in the early days of a new year. The most common is the excitement and joy of crossing over. The exuberant cries of ‘Happy New Year’ everywhere you go, whether they are known persons or strangers. The joy is worth sharing with everyone who would care to listen. I made it! We made it!