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Some times it feels unreal, but we’ve actually been hunkered down for almost two years. Can you believe it?!
Just about every aspect of our lives have been constrained and in some instances crippled by an infectious agent that is so small it requires a microscope to visualize it. Yet, here we are on the cusp of 2022 and this virus is still threateningly looming over us so much so the year hardly feels new.
The message in the cartoon below is fitting to get us started: “What will the new year bring us? 365 opportunities!”
I think this year, in particular, we will need to be very intentional about finding those opportunities.
Governments and private sector organizations, they’re seeking those opportunities to advance recovery efforts. We hear terms like “build back better” and “new normal”. On the personal level—be it physically, mentally, psychologically or socially—we too have had to find new ways of being and living.
God also had something to say about seeking new opportunities and new ways of being under difficult circumstances. Because, of course, nothing takes Him by surprise. So, over 2000 years ago He gave the prophet Isaiah a “new thing”—in other words a “new normal”—message for His children that is most fitting for this time.
He starts off with:
Behold [in other words, it’s as if God was saying come, see something especially remarkable and impressive], I am doing a new thing; NOW it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.Isaiah 43:19
What are the “new things” God is doing under this pandemic? What opportunities will God open up as pathways in the wilderness-like circumstances we will face as we traverse 2022? Will we have the insight into His will to be able to perceive it, and the will power to take ahold of those opportunities as they spring forth?
As I pondered these questions for myself, I reflected on the children of ancient Israel as they were journeying from the land of their bondage to the freedom land God promised them. They too were filled with trepidation about what the land holds.
In the same way God consoled ancient Israel, He also encourages us today. To them He spoke about the “land”, to us He’s speaking about the “year”.
The land/year you go to possess, it is a land/year of hills and valleys [meaning it won’t be smooth] and it drinks water of the rain of heavens [meaning it will be bountiful]. … The eyes of the Lord your God are always on it from the BEGINNING OF THE YEAR to the very END OF THE YEAR”.Deuteronomy 11:11-12
God, in His wisdom, does not show us all that lies ahead, but He assures us that He has His eyes and hands on it all.
As we enter this new year, let us follow more courageously, more daringly, more faithfully His lead. And, as you do so I pray this blessing will be yours:
May there always be work for your hands to do;
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.~ Irish blessing
May you find peace in knowing our God has His eyes on where you will traverse from today, the beginning of the year, to the very end of the year.
And so my friends,
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine on you and be gracious to you;
The LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace [for the 365 days, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes, and 31536000 seconds of this new year].Numbers 6:24-26
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