Renewal through Trust
‘The New Year is still in its infancy. It is unknown territory to all of us. We do not know what it may hold of joy or pain. For some it will mean new life and exciting experiences. Others will know pain, sickness or the valley of the shadows. But whatever the future brings, we do well to remind ourselves that we do not travel its road alone. There is One who will accompany us, making the unknown path safer than a known way.’
This brief New Year message appeared in the March 1973 edition of Women at Work, the national newsletter of Australian Church Women (ACW). It is still a very apt message for 2022, and it is complemented by the New Year message below from our current ACW National President, Major Laurel Pearce. Laurel is a retired Salvation Army officer who lives in Perth, Western Australia.
2022 NEW YEAR MESSAGE
I was watching the moon move across the night sky recently. It became obscured by dark clouds, but you could still see the glow in the sky. In a similar manner when clouds obscure the sun or mists the mountains one knows that the sun and mountains are still there.
It reminds me that when clouds appear in our lives, God is still there. As we trust in him, his love and power are available to us and his light guides us.
The New Year is often a time for reflection when we think of the year that has gone, its joys and challenges and wonder what the New Year will bring. Recent years have been challenging as we have lived with COVID, lockdowns, isolation and concern for our family and friends. We think particularly of all in the Eastern States. Those of us in the West have been praying for you. I am sure we all hoped that this year COVID would be fast becoming a thing of the past. However, whatever the year brings, God (Immanuel) is with us.
We each find practical ways to tap into God’s resources. Prayer is vital. Some other ways I find helpful include meditation and prayer on God’s word, reading, singing and praying hymns, and listening to Christian music, enjoying God’s handiwork in nature, and seeing God at work in the lives of others.
In an old copy of a magazine for retired Salvation Army Officers, I found a quotation from Touch the World with Prayer by W.L. Deuwel which I would like to share with you.
“Praise clarifies your vision. The focus of your attention is drawn from the complexity of the problem to the adequacy of God’s resources; from the urgency of your need to the power of the Lord to meet your need. As you praise him, you begin to remember how he has helped you on other occasions and your faith rises in expectancy. The more you praise, the smaller the mountain you are facing appears in the light of God’s greatness. Almost unconsciously you are casting your burden on the Lord. (Psalm 55:12)”
This reminds me of the old hymn ‘Count your blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done’. As we count our blessings and realise what God has done in our lives, joy and peace rise in our hearts. That joy shared with others becomes infectious whether through a smile, laughter or a word of encouragement.
Whatever 2022 brings may God empower you and yours with joy, peace, love and light.
God be with you.