First of all, it’s probably appropriate to begin this post with a Happy New Year, and begin this year with some more posts….. I’m not one for making resolutions but I am definitely one for looking back in order to look forward. I find this time of year is always hopeful and exciting…. its keeping that hope throughout the year that can take more work. It’s fear that creeps in and steals our hope and joy. I’m so guilty of letting this happen!
Even though I’m not one month into 2018, I find myself in a sea of questions already. Dare I even say that worry for the future and the unknown are a thread through all of those questions. I’d like to say I was wading through it calmly but at times it doesn’t feel like that. Therefore, I find myself looking back in order to give hope to looking forward.
On the way back from the beach with some of the teens this afternoon, the current car DJ turned on the song, Oceans. It immediately brought me back to a place and time where I again felt like I was drowning in that sea of questions and unknown. I can remember the very thoughts and emotions I had as that song was not only playing in the background, but its words playing a huge role in reminding me to trust God. During this song, I imagined things like God as my anchor, or a buoy being thrown in to help me, a hand grasping me out to stay afloat. And now, I am able to look back on that and know that I don’t have those exacts questions or thoughts surrounding me. I can see how God did anchor me in the unknown and how He ended up bringing me out and through that. Indeed it was the start of my journey to New Zealand. I cannot help but cry ‘Thank you, God, you are so faithful and trustworthy.” It was a beautiful reminder for me today, as we drove along the blue coastline on a sunny day. God is more powerful than any ocean or storm it may bring, and we can have peace in knowing that. That gives me hope in facing this year.
I believe God wants us to take the time to do this very thing of remembering. In Joshua 4, he actually commanded men from each of the twelve tribes to do so with stones.
When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. 5 And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
Can you remember a time that God was particularly faithful in a tough or trying situation? Can you see how He brought you through it? Does it encourage and excite you to keep going into the future? 2018 will come and go as fast as all the others before it, I am sure, and I pray that by the end of it, I can look back at it and say ‘I trusted God in that and He anchored me through ‘!’.