Finally, the book closes on 2019.
We ended it with a flurry of big-ticket items. A US President was impeached. The USMCA trade agreement was signed after two years of sound and fury. The recent Canadian election birthed another minority Parliament. Construction finally started on the Trans-Mountain pipeline.
As the calendar turns and time marches relentlessly on, what big-ticket items will make the marquee in 2020?
Do you sometimes wonder how God views the affairs of humankind? What is his take on things? What are his dreams for the year ahead…his priorities for the new decade? Where should he invest his divine energies? How should he allocate his resources? Which nation should he humble? Which king should he elevate? Which black hole should he reveal?
There’s a lot on his plate. He has a vast universe to keep spinning. He has a world of eight billion persons to caretake. He has a multi-national church of over three billion adherents to guide forward into eternity. (Imagine the tens of thousands of saints who are dying each day and being welcomed into their eternal home!)
No question. God is a big God, with a big creation and a big to-do list. It’s no wonder that sometimes in this grand scheme of things you and I can feel awfully small…very insignificant…even irrelevant. No doubt, King David felt such emotions,
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)
In the face of an infinite God, a vast universe and the innumerable hordes of humanity, how easy it is for each of us to crawl into our small corner, convinced that on balance our lives are of little consequence; that God has more pressing things to do than concern himself with what concerns me today.
Be careful. Such thoughts are a deep affront to God. For you are neither invisible, or irrelevant, or inconsequential to him.
For he sees you. “Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:24)
And not only does he see, he knows us…intimately! “You know when I sit and when I rise…you are familiar with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:2-3)
And not only does he see and know, he plans our existence! “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16)
And because he sees, and knows and plans our ways, he cares deeply for us and intervenes on our behalf. “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:9-10)
There’s a wonderful story in the Old Testament that speaks volumes about God’s heart-felt interest in the affairs of persons. Meet Hagar, a slave uprooted from Egypt. She has no control over her life and is appointed servant to Sarah who cannot conceive a child. And so, at Sarah’s suggestion, Hagar is commandeered by Sarah’s husband, Abraham, who impregnates her.
This is not a happy picture. Tensions mount between Sarah and Hagar who is forced to escape with her child into the wilderness. And there she is, unloved, unwanted, a single mother, starving, absolutely alone. She puts her boy down under one of the bushes, saying, “I cannot watch the boy die.” She collapses nearby and begins to sob. The pathos is overwhelming.
And how does God respond? As he twirls the universe, guides the planets on their course, and superintends the affairs of humanity…does he see this grieving mother and her child? Does he care? Never doubt it for a minute!
“…God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” (Genesis 21:17-18)
It stuns me to think that the God of Hagar and her son, is the God of each Corpath member. This is the God who sees, and knows and loves each of us personally, intimately, daily.
To him, we are not small, insignificant or irrelevant! And so, when the skies go dark, and fears abound, and the complexities of life overwhelm in the new year ahead, let’s remember – God sees, God knows, God is on our side, for he has said,
“If God is for us, who can be against us? For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Romans 8: 31, 37-39)
May God’s presence, purpose, and plans bring you much joy in 2020!