I don`t think it really hit me about the importance of this new year as we were moving toward it until I actually heard someone say, “welcome to a new decade”. A new decade? Wow. That sounds massive to me. A decade. Ten years. What happened to the last decade and how did it go by so quickly? What does this new decade hold for me? The thoughts take me back to what it was like 10 years ago as we were anticipating the upcoming decade. The unknown was about to happen.
As the last decade started in 2010, it was a hard year for my family. We placed our PaPa in an assisted living home for Alzheimer`s patients and saw him slip deeper and deeper into that new world of his. In July, we received more news that would shatter our world as we had known it. Our sweet Mother, known as Gaga to the grandchildren and friends, had been having back pain for some time. Finally we got the report that she had pancreatic cancer. Cancer was a familiar and scary word to us since our Daddy died in 1974 after a short three month battle with cancer. But “pancreatic” cancer was not so familiar and we had no idea what to expect or what exactly it would mean to us. We boldly prayed for healing. We rallied around our Gaga with love, great confidence, and hope that she would beat this thing with time and treatments. As the weeks and months went by, she got noticeably weaker and the pain grew worse. Our prayers of healing here on earth with us were changed to prayers for God to take her home to be with Him where she would be forever healed. And He did, Dec. 13, 2010, just 5 short months after the diagnosis.
It became a new journey for us, life without them.
Their legacies live on through so much of what we are and we are all blessed to have had them in our lives. The decade continued. More grandchildren were born, graduations happened, new jobs with new directions, weddings and now, at the start of this new decade, a new baby boy is expected very soon. He would have made 5 great grandchildren for them. Joy always comes in the morning.
As I reflect on death and new life, it confirms the cycle of life and reminds me of the value of each life. There is so much uncertainty, so much disagreement, so much hate in the world today but each life is of great value to Him.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
“ For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:13-18
Our real value is not up for discussion. It is already established through His love and His Son. When we stop and really see ourselves as God sees us, it brings a new sense of value. If we don`t believe what His word says, there is a huge void in our life. But when we look through His eyes at our lives we have hope as He is doing something brand new for us, already planned in advance. “The God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, The God who summons horses and chariots and armies— they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” Isaiah 43:18-19
We can be encouraged and fully embrace what He has for us as we step into the unknown. After all, Faith is built in the unknown. God has unknown territory for us that He wants us to inherit. What are you waiting for? God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
Noah stepped into the unknown to build a boat. What evidence did Noah have to go on when God asked him to build the Ark? Noah had never seen anything resembling a global flood before. All he had to go on was the truth of the character of God. Noah’s faith to take God at His Word condemned the faithlessness of the world around him. People may have mocked him, called him a fool or insane; but Noah turned out to be the only sane man around. It is the essence of sanity to take what God says seriously, whereas it is the insanity of sin to reject the Word of God.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to leave the familiar and go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. Heb 11:8
Esther stepped into the unknown by faith to save her people for generations to come as she approached her husband, the King, to ask a favor. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:13-14
Paul- formally known as Saul, stepped into the unknown that day on the road to Damascus. He had a transforming encounter with Jesus. It was an encounter that altered the course of history, resulted in untold generations throughout the world meeting Jesus as their Savior, and made it possible for us to receive half of the New Testament through his writings. He traveled over 10,000 miles proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. He encouraged all to run life`s race well. “But you, Timothy, a man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses”. 1 Timothy 6:12
These heroes in the Bible stepped into the unknown by faith and saw beyond the horizon, to the fulfillment of their promises from God. Their stories also warn us about the reality of alienation from the world and the scoffing that will come from it, for those who side with God. It may cost a person everything for choosing to follow the Lord Jesus in this world, but the reward is priceless.
As this new decade approaches, be encouraged to step into 2020, the unknown, with faith. Let go of the past and fully embrace what He has for you right now. Stand strong with authority of knowing WHO you are and be confident of this, that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”. Philippians 1:6
You are of GREAT value to HIM. Remember . . .GOD is always for you Anything is possible and.. . . . NOW is the time
Happy New Year 2020!!