I’ve never been so ready for a new year and so full of resolutions and energy to take the offensive in this battle. I felt this way until I got an e-mail last night from a dear friend whose husband was just told he has lymphoma. Cancer. It has struck again. I confess; my immediate heart thought was one of defeat rather than victory. But after the initial shock of her news, I was reminded by something (or someone) greater inside of me to pray. Pray. Why do we pray when the answer does not always line up with our petitions? Pray. Why do we pray when it seems to be a losing battle? Pray. We pray because Jesus said to pray. We pray because we’ve seen it work. We pray because if we don’t, we have given into the father of lies who wants us to throw in the towel. Pray.
This past week I had the wonderful opportunity to baby-sit my sister’s granddaughter while the rest of the family skied. I fell in love. There is nothing sweeter than a child’s small hands on your face or unsteady feet trying to take their first five steps forward. One night as I lay on the floor watching a movie, Raelyn wallowed all over me as is her usual custom at night before she goes to bed. She wrestles and wallows over anyone on the floor. I was struck by the joy of playing with her face to face and so filled with love, but the joy was suddenly broken by the immediate wish my sister could experience this precious baby girl’s love. When I went to bed that night, my broken heart bled again, but not for long. As quickly as the grieving thought came, the Lord brought to my mind a picture of heaven somehow describing in that instant, without words, the knowledge that heaven is even sweeter and more amazing than the love of a child. My mind can’t fathom these enormous, beautiful, breathtaking colors of love in heaven. But the Bible does give us such glimpses.
I just finished a One-Year Bible. Granted, I started it in October, but I finished October through December 31 and have started the new year. I loved the ending! If there would’ve been music attached to the reading, the last day would’ve ended with an amazing symphony crescendo and final clap of cymbals. If you read Revelation 21 and 22 and Psalm 150 together, you too can hear the glorious music of victory. My words bring no justice to its power. I hope you can take time to read these chapters together.
Reading through Revelation I was struck by the word “overcomes” or “over comer”. Just looking through my concordance in the back of my Bible, I see that this word is written 8 times in the book of Revelation. “He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he (she) will be my son (daughter).” (Rev. 21:7) This is our promise. This is for us. It is a new year. We do hope for it to be much better than the last, but we don’t have that promised to us. We do have promised to us something much better. We have promised a good ending. A glorious crescendo of music proclaiming victory to all of us who have overcome. “This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:3,4).
I pray to encourage you to believe! Trust in the one who has written the final chapter. Let us overcome the schemes of the devil that threaten to fill our hearts with defeat and fear. Keep praying! Keep reading the word! And don’t forget to worship! Until next time my friends…