The cold has returned. Our December was so balmy that trees blossomed pink in confusion. So it seems hard to believe the truth of January.
But here it is. A beginning of new days. Blank pages of unwritten stories and songs that have never been sung.
Just like everyone, I set new goals, practice new habits. I suppose it helps to feel some control over all the unknown. “This is what I can change. This is what I can do.”
Even so, the year stretches out before me like an uncharted sea. Some now-secret stories will bring me joy, I know. There will be tender beauty and many good gifts from my Father’s hand. But what if the churning darkness also contains a violent, unexpected storm? What if my ship is disabled? What if I am taken to an unwanted, difficult place?
How can I not be afraid?
I want to open my heart to all the paths appointed for me.
I’ve been reading through Job. Through all his dark suffering, He cannot see God. He knows, he remembers, but he doesn’t see.
Behold, I go forward but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him. Job 23:8-9
And ours is a faith walk as well. We cannot see the path ahead, so we must acknowledge the Path-maker. We must press on to know who He is. The dark places are the best places to grab His hand, to pull in close to His heart.
To believe all His words. To trust in His faithfulness.
But He knows the way I take. Job 23:10
Every step is known.
And isn’t that the best and most comforting truth? Doesn’t that give us courage and hope and joy in believing? Aren’t we the blessed ones to know the One who knows?
One of my favorite verses is at the end of Job.
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. Job 42:5
God is working through those heartbreaking losses. God is present, always. And God is opening Job’s eyes to see Him. To know Him.
As we begin this brand new, uncharted year, we can rest in the One who knows all its days, all its ways.
And our prayer? More hearing, yes. More trusting, yes. More faithfulness, yes.
Oh, but give us the seeing.
Give us the knowing.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled down, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24
The mind of a person plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. Psalm 25:10