Joshua 1:2 “… Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites.
The new year lies before us like an unexplored territory. As the old year came to a close perhaps you recalled events that happened that you would not have suspected twelve months ago: deaths of friends, new relationships, a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, eleven (perhaps twelve by the time you read this) consecutive months of private sector job growth, … The year ahead is likely to prove equally surprising.
Consider the Israelites, standing on the shores of the Jordan river. 40 years of wandering in the desert lay behind them. Before them stood a land of “milk and honey”, but populated with gigantic people in fortified cities. The Israelites had a choice, they could stay on the eastern shore of the Jordan, but time propels us into the future towards unknown events and unexpected challenges. Yet we, like the ancient Israelites, should know that God goes with us. God tells Joshua: “9I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
I pray that as you and I enter this new year we will find God ahead of us urging us towards challenges we can conquer and away from needless peril. I pray that we will experience God alongside us when the going becomes arduous, a friend plodding through mud with us. I pray that we will appreciate God beneath us, buoying us up went circumstances of life surround and attempt to drown us.