This Psalm is a hymn of thanksgiving for God’s fidelity, (the quality or state of being
faithful.) It is in praise that the believer acknowledges dependence on God and on His goodness
and greatness. At the beginning of a new year, it is appropriate to reflect on how often God’s
love and faithfulness have covered us to continue persevering despite any difficult
circumstances we may face, particularly as caretakers. God blesses and cares for us with
immense tenderness, holding us near, while God’s invitation to us can appear in the needs of
another – needs that we are able to meet if we have the love to do so.
I share a quote from The Word Among us (Scripture study) that touched me, “We all
face struggles, times of weakness and temptation, the loss of something we cherish,
disappointment of personal failure or the death of a loved one. God wants to make use of
these times of sorrow and stress to purify our faith and draw us closer into communion with
Him. It is in our trials that we experience most clearly that our strength does not come from
ourselves but from God, who will never abandon us.”
As dark as it can seem, I sense a theme for this year is to let in the ‘light’ however
possible. Though our lives ‘change’ the light is still within and being aware will bring blessings.
God is good and will not leave us alone in this broken world. In everything God does in us, one
goal is to make us stronger in faith. Much as we might dislike it, our faith does grow through
testing. God wants us to trust that He is always with us, especially through pain and hardship. I
am grateful to have experienced that the promises remain, God can turn every trial into an
opportunity for revealing His faithfulness and power.
We always have a choice – we can sink into anger and despair or find God in the mess.
The prophet Isaiah assures the people who have been in darkness that the light of God’s glory
will shine on them. Disappointment can obstruct our view of God and in those times, can we
have eyes to see how much we are held up by the faith of others and by the mercy and love of
God? We are reminded of the element of ‘hope’ with this quote by Janet Weaver Smith, “Faith
believes that God will plant the seeds of hope for tomorrow in the garden of our hearts today.”
In the beginning God called forth creation from chaos, light from darkness, what makes
us doubt our present darkness is without light? Before we enter fully into this year, why not
reflect on last year, how God’s faithfulness held and loved you? Every moment we have a
choice - giving into despair or leaning on God’s faithfulness and promises?