Welcome to the new year! As we begin 2019, some people may view the next twelve months with excitement and positive expectations. Others may struggle to fight a feeling of apprehension and fear of what may unfold in the coming days.
Today, we hope to encourage you with a few words written by Joni Eareckson Tada in her devotional A Spectacle of Glory.
Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittimand went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.”
Imagine arriving at a national forest trailhead, preparing to take a long hike on a new trail. You may have read a little about the trail in a guidebook, but for you, everything will be new. Every bend in the trail, a fresh discovery. Fields of wildflowers, mountain vistas, and treacherous places too, where footing is poor and cliffs are sheer. It’s a little frightening, knowing you’ve never been this way before. But as you tighten the straps on your pack, a quick glance ahead reveals Your Guide waiting for you. He will be with you. He knows the way. He’s thought through the necessary provisions. He will teach you about the natural wonders along the way, and He’s prepared to take on wild animals. Today, as you face a new year, the way before you is cloaked in mystery, unknown. But Jesus will be there for every step. Protecting. Encouraging. Guiding, Providing. Being there.
Lord, I’ve never been this way before. I have no idea what this year will hold… for my health… for opportunities to serve You… for people to love and help and challenge in Your strong name. No matter whether the travel is easy or a mad scramble up a slippery trail in the dark, I know You—my Guide, my God, my Friend—will be with me.
As you consider the year ahead, may you remember that Jesus is with you every step of the way (Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5), and that He is working everything for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). We pray the Lord blesses you in this year, and we look forward to discovering what God has in store for each of us through 2018.
This January 1st devotional was taken from A Spectacle of Glory: God’s Light Shining through Me Every Day by Joni Eareckson Tada.