Look at the birds flying around; they do not sow seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren’t you worth much more than birds? [Matthew 6:26].
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer! [Rejoice and Sing 413].
How have you begun 2023? With hope and excitement as to what is before you, or with trepidation, thinking of the woes of 2022 which it is feared might continue into this new year, giving rise to different fears and challenges – financial hardship, hunger and escalating human conflict, environmental catastrophes – all of our making. It is too easy to succumb to despair and depression, gloom and doom.
As I look out of my office window the sun is shining, bright and beautiful, the sky is a deep blue, it is cold, but invigorating – the garden birds are singing, a happy sound. We have God’s treasure trove of nature all around us with the promise of Spring not far away – a time of regeneration, wonder of new life awakening from the dark, challenging days of Winter.
Trust in God….
Certainly, we will all have to face new challenges through the coming year. How do we face them? With faith and by not underestimating the power of prayer.
In addition to having the privilege of prayer – an open door to Jesus – we have the strength of fellowship with Him, but also of great value is the fellowship we have with one another. The coming together of our two Churches has required adjustment and tolerance but the sum of the two opens exciting possibilities through our strengthened fellowship.
Personally, the fellowship I experience as a member of our Church and our Scout Group enriches each and every day for which I am truly thankful.
As with any group of individuals there are disagreements and upsets; there always will be, but none are insurmountable, remembering that in fellowship we can achieve so much more than as individuals.
We all have much to be thankful for, no matter the challenges we will have to face and overcome in the course of 2023. The joy is that we do not have to do so alone!
Great is the faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided, great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me. [Rejoice and Sing 96].
Notwithstanding my ramblings, may you have a happy, heathy and joyful 2023.