Was January 1st just another day? New beginnings are not always earth-shattering; they may merely introduce the ‘same old, same old.’ The calendar year changed, but perhaps not our routines, schedules, traditions, and expectations.
In actuality the last four years teach us that life can change quickly. It wasn’t just COVID-19; it was the supply and demand issue – growing concerns regarding food, housing, healthcare, and employment.
I saw a growing anxiety as we became keenly aware of how fragile life is. Uncertainty gave rise to fear and being “stressed out”; it revealed itself in impatience, aggression, feeling alone, and addictive behaviour.
I believe life is always fragile, and that hard times bring us to admit it. We do our best to feel secure. My career has taken me to hospitals and funeral homes; one cancer cell, one sharp pain down the left arm, or one misfortune reveals just how vulnerable we are.
As a child I faced life’s realities; these often made me fearful, helpless, or angry. I had an innate need to feel safe. We don’t like being out of our comfort zones. Mom and Dad were ‘there’ to walk with me; at times they had to pick me up, hold me, even carry me. I needed the reassurance that I was not alone. My anxiety diminished, or at least I had renewed confidence to go forward.
Not much has changed. Our child-side emerges in our not wanting to walk alone, rather to be held or carried through uncertainty. The Christ-follower can cry, “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15) which is similar to “Daddy” or “Papa”. This affectionate relational connection with God reassures, and instills en-COURAGE-ment.
Ira F. Stamphill penned an old hymn:
“Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.”
This childlike dependence on God is called FAITH. We may not totally understand God, or His ways, any more than our kids totally understand us. We do know He deeply loves and cares for us. Childlike faith in God means we trust His unchanging perfect character along life’s twists and turns. It has been noted, “When life is fragile, handle with prayer.” We are not alone.
I affirm, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Beginning 2024 I say, “Here I Go Again!”; with Ralph Abernathy I also affirm, “I don’t know what the future may hold, but I know Who holds the future.”
“Are you with me?”
Pastor Bill Terris