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Looking towards the new

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"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea." Revelations 21:1

As with every closing year, I take a moment to sit and reflect. Many things have come to pass in my personal life within the last 365 days, and a multitude of other events in the world around me. The numbers have been so great I would find it difficult to remember most without deliberate effort. I find reflection at the close of the year is therapeutic to my soul. In taking the time to stop and consider all that has passed, I am reduced to tears in many places, but immense joy at other points. It has been one terrific year, filled to overflowing with stressful situations, tremendous blessings and a continued knowledge of God's presence.

Looking forward to the beginning of yet another year, I ponder. What will this new year bring?

At the close of each year and the eve of the new, we tend to speculate on how things may be better, or worse. We know life is a journey through which we travel and we wonder what lies on the road ahead. Past experience has taught us to expect the unexpected. Life doesn't always roll out in front of us the way we've planned. Those of us who know Jesus as Lord and Savior rest in the blessed assurance of His continual presence, no matter what may come. He has promised He will never leave or forsake us, (Hebrews 13:5) and it makes traveling into the new year a bit more comfortable. Even though we may not know what tomorrow may bring, we know Who holds tomorrow in His hands.

Every year that has passed from the time Jesus ascended into heaven, believers have watched the events around them and expressed questions as to whether or not this would be the time of His return. After all, He said He would do so, and we know He keeps His word. What sweet assurance knowing there is a new heaven and new earth being prepared. In spite of the ugliness sin has brought into this world, we are still aware of the beauty of God's original creation and look forward with longing to the new. Whether or not we see it in our lifetime, we know we will see it.

That knowledge gives me a sense of peace and calm as we head into a new year. I know God is faithful and am confident in the plans He has for my life and the lives of those I love. Even though I don't know the details, I know Him and have seen Him do things above and beyond my wildest imagination. Breathing in a deep breath of the fragrance of His presence, I turn my eyes towards the closing light of this year and gaze expectantly into the new. May you do so as well as you recognize how He has richly blessed you and yours.

I pray you will have a New Year filled with peace and joy.



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