A new year has begun! I know that isn't news to you as you have already been through one day of 2014, but it is exciting to enter into a new year. What will this year hold? What will happen? Will all the things that I have planned come to fruition? What things will fail? Will this be a healthy year? Will there be sickness?
Within the congregation of St. Paul's, we can ask those very same questions. There have been goals set by the Planning Council. What will happen to those goals? Will we meet them? What will need to be adjusted due to situations that we couldn't foresee? Then comes the question of health - who will be healthy this year and who won't? What children will be born this year? Who will pass away? When the year comes to a close, what changes will have taken place?
That is one of the things that concerns us when it comes to the start of a new year, or even the start of a new venture - the unknown. We can make all the plans we want but we do not know how they will play out. IT is like today, we have been planning on taking Penny's mother to Bloomington to meet the sister from Chicago. She will then go on to Chicago with the sister. It is a good plan, except that it snowed overnight. There are several inches of snow here in Troy and more to the north. Wasn't counting on that! It won't stop us but it will make it to where we will have to take it much easier traveling to the north. You just don't know what will happen to your plans.
In cases like this, as in everyday life, I find it best to say with the words of Scripture, "Lord willing, we will do..." "Lord willing I will see you tomorrow." Lord willing I will drive to Bloomington today." I know that for many people, they do not see how the omniscient, omnipotent God could get involved in the trivial affairs of mankind. Does He really care about what I do on a day to day basis? Or does He leave some of that up to the whims and the foibles of fate? The answer is that as hard as it is to understand (or explain), God is involved in our day-to-day life. He does not withdraw His hand from our lives. At the same time, He has given us free will to chose what we are going to do. That really gets overwhelming to figure out. I just spend time reading a book that dealt with this very issue and let me tell you, theologians, philosophers and many others have spent years trying to give an answer to how this might be and in the end, it comes down to faith - trusting the Word of the Lord and letting God be God. So I do say, "Lord willing, I will..." And I know that the Lord is with me in whatever happens - whether I get to do the specific thing or not.
Sorry for waxing so philosophical this morning. That is just where my mind went. Know this, the Lord is with you this year, just like He was with you last year. I have some thoughts on that too. Perhaps I will share those tomorrow.
Have yourself a great 2014. Know that the Lord is with you in whatever happens. The epistle reading from New Year's Eve worship is so wonderful. Romans 8:31-39. In all things you are more than conquerors. As Christ Jesus has overcome, so in Him, you too will overcome. Neither height nor depth, the present nor the future, neither life nor death is able to separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. If you believe in Jesus, then you are His and He is with you in whatever happens. Never forget that!
A blessed and wonderful 2014 to you. I look forward to whatever this year brings.