Hey Worship Team, Tech Team, and the rest of you!
Hindsight is 20/20.
My dad used to say that, quite a bit. Of course that was long before the 21st century ever rolled around, so the YEAR 2020 wasn’t even on the radar screen.
Good news: 2020 is henceforth and forevermore only available via hindsight!
Good riddance? Opportunity lost?
Either way, by God’s grace time marches inexorably forward. Welcome to the New Year. May the possibilities for it fill you with anticipation, excitement, and hope.
I’m expecting this to be a great year.
Last year there seemed to be a myriad of forces that did their best to pull us out of rhythm and put us at odds with our team, our colleagues, our family members—and at some level with ourselves.
As with so many things in life, a myriad can often be traced back to a single source. The truth remains that we have an enemy of our souls whose desire is to destroy each of us, and anything good in our lives: our health, our sense of well-being, our relationships, our faith.
Yet here we stand.
A year stronger. A year wiser. And another year’s worth of questions and confusion and worries jammed into our backpacks.
You want to think about something crazy? None of 2020 came as a surprise to God.
There is no economic shutdown, no political scuttlebutt, no pandemic of fear or anything else that caught Him unawares, unprepared, or unresolved.
As his kids, that should give us hope. That should build our faith.
Here’s a reminder from Psalm 121:
I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help. But then I realize that our true help and protection come only from the Lord, our Creator who made the heavens and the earth.
He will guard and guide me, never letting me stumble or fall. God is my keeper; he will never forget nor ignore me. He will never slumber nor sleep; he is the Guardian-God for his people, Israel.
Jehovah himself will watch over you; he’s always at your side to shelter you safely in his presence. He’s protecting you from all danger both day and night. He will keep you from every form of evil or calamity as he continually watches over you.
You will be guarded by God himself.
You will be safe when you leave your home and safely you will return. He will protect you now, and he’ll protect you forevermore!
Take a look at that next-to-last line. “You will be guarded by God himself.”
Let’s flip it on its head and personalize it, then I want you to say it out loud.
Yes, Chuckles. Out loud.
Like this: “I will be guarded by God himself.”
No, really. Say it out loud.
It doesn’t matter if you whisper it or mumble it under your breath or say it full voice. But it DOES matter that you play along and say it.
Your head, your heart, your worries, and your HOPE need to hear you declare this with as much faith as you can muster: “I will be guarded by God himself.”
Say it again. Yes, out loud. Perhaps even like you MEAN it.
“I will be guarded by God himself.”
How does that make you feel about the year ahead? How does that position your head and your heart?
In twelve months you’re gonna be a year older. What are you gonna do?
We stand on the precipice of a new year. What are you gonna do?
Are you going to tiptoe into this year filled with dread and worry?
Are you going to race into this year with the foolish bravado of an idiot?
Or will you walk with the confidence that God himself is protecting you and each of your steps?
“I will be guarded by God himself.”
My physical health and emotional well-being will be guarded by God himself.
My work and my finances will be guarded by God himself.
My marriage, my family and my relationships will be guarded by God himself.
My church and our worship team will be guarded by God himself.
Do you feel that? Deep inside your soul?
That’s hope. Raising its head, spreading its wings, and taking flight.
And this is our hope: The year 2021 will be guarded by God himself.
Happy New Year.