Martin farm pond in Lancaster County
Our friend Nancy Martin took this photo of their farm pond several years ago after a beautiful snowfall. Thus far this season we have not had a significant snowfall.
Click here to see a larger desktop-sized photo.
“He Who Crowns The Year”
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance. They drop on the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side” (Psalm 65:11,12).
Planning our pathway, holding us fast,
Shaping in mercy all that concerns us:
Father, we praise you, Lord of the past.
Yesterday we all began another trip around the sun. We really didn’t have any choice about making this trip. It wasn’t as though we purchased tickets or received travel vouchers for a Christmas present. Wherever we live, when the clock struck midnight in our time zone, December 31, 2016, we started another trip.
It sure seems like the years pass with an increasing pace, which admittedly is a characteristic of aging, though I often hear young people stating this as well. Even though astronomically each year is the same length of time, from our perception time passes more quickly each year and then the next year rolls around all too quickly. This last year we dealt with the extra candle on our birthday cake and here we are about to do it all over again in 2017! Our dear longtime friend, Sally, already blew out her extra candle yesterday since she has a New Year’s birthday. As sure as we put up the new calendar and think, “and so we begin another year” we will all too soon turn the calendar month and think, “Wow, where did this past month go?” The days, weeks, months and years quickly come and just as quickly speed by.
What a joy to seek an eternal and spiritual perspective as we begin a new year. David wrote today’s Psalm portion some 3,000 years ago; “You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.”
Today we use this verse both in retrospect and in prospect. Although we experience both physical and material blessings we feel the verse is primarily applicable in a spiritual sense. Some of our readers did not find 2016 to be a “good year” in the way we typically mean it. You may have lost a loved one or endured a great trial that that has not lessened simply because you purchased a 2017 calendar.
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” is often quoted to bring anticipation or reassurance to those pursuing a new adventure. But when you read the entire chapter you realize God is speaking through Jeremiah to the surviving Jews who were in Babylonian exile, estranged from their homeland of Jerusalem and its godly influence. God’s goodness is seen not only in the desirable things that we experience, but His goodness is displayed in the undesirable circumstances we experience as He “plans our pathway, holding us fast, shaping in mercy all that concerns us”.
Brooksyne wrote in her prayer: “You ordain the trials, the victories, the losses, the gains and all the paths laid out for us even before we were conceived in our mother’s womb.” Through all our days our faithful God makes us strong overcomers as we look to Him for wisdom, guidance and daily strength in 2017.
princes of darkness own your command:
what then can harm us? We are your people,
now and forever kept by your hand.
Be encouraged today and have a blessed New Year!
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
You have ordained the trials, the victories, the losses, the gains and all the paths laid out for us even before we were conceived in our mother’s womb.
Remind us that as we share in Your sufferings we also share in Your glory. In all areas of trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, and danger we are more than conquerors through You who loves us abundantly. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, nor anything else in all of Your creation will be able to separate us from Your love that has been revealed to us through Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. We rejoice with our family of believers and with all of Your creation in the paths of abundance You lay out before us as You walk hand in hand with us. Amen.
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