Dear Brothers and Sisters, greetings to all of you as we enter into the year of our Lord 2019!
I must admit, it is hard for me to grasp the fact that we have traveled through another year so quickly. I remember my grandma Irene, who was 83 years old at the time, telling me how rapidly the years had gone by for her. When she shared her feelings with me concerning this topic, I assumed she was probably exaggerating a bit. At 61 years of age I am beginning to understand just exactly what she was trying to convey to me. As the old saying goes, “Time waits for no man!”
Even though the past year has gone by much faster than I would have liked it to have happened, I am still very thankful for the many wonderful and undeserved blessings God showered on me and my family throughout 2018. The greatest of those blessings would be in knowing Jesus Christ as our Savior and friend. With that being said, I am also most thankful for having had the opportunity to serve the Lord, my family, and our Emmanuel family over these last 12 months. It has been a real joy for me to serve the Lord in these vocations He has placed me into. I thank God for the great gift we received this year in our first grandchild, Ian Louis Quatsoe. June and I were told by so many of our family members and friends how special grandchildren are. Well, as a new grandpa, I can confirm that all of those claims we heard before Ian’s arrival were definitely true.
As I write this article, I realize that I could continue to go on about all the ways God has so graciously blessed me this last year, but I am not going to do that right now. Instead, what I would like do is shift my attention from the past to the present. Dear friends in Christ, you and I are able to see how the past 12 months have played out in our lives. And, it’s OK if we want to reflect back on the year and remember what has taken place. Yet the past is not where God wants us to remain. If we remain in the past, we can lose sight of what He is doing in our lives today. You and I pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” And our Heavenly Father most graciously answers our prayer. Every day God blesses us mightily, and if we are not in tune with what is going on in our life right now, we might just miss seeing those many blessings. And what a shame that would be.
Yes, it’s OK if we remember the past. And yes, it is important to be in tune with the present. But, let us also be prepared as we look towards the new year that lies before us. It is essential to remember that you and I do not know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future! God sees what is ahead and we cannot, so it is in Him alone where we need to place our trust. Moses told Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:7b-8, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Fellow redeemed, who of us can predict what will happen in 2019. You and I may not be heading into a new territory like Joshua and the Israelites, but we are God’s people of the 21st century heading into a new year that is filled with the unknown. Are we to fear? Should we be dismayed? NO! The same promise God gave Joshua through His servant Moses is ours as well. If God, in the person of Jesus Christ, was willing to give Himself up to die on a cross to save us, will He not also continue to watch over us and provide for all our needs in both body and soul in the year ahead? Yes, yes, and yes! So, let us go forward into 2019, with great hope and confidence, as God’s dearly loved people.
I don’t know about any of you, but I cannot wait to see what God has planned for me and for the members of Emmanuel, as together we journey into the unchartered territory of the coming new year. Be excited, be ready, have confidence for the Lord God Almighty is leading the way. May each of you have a blessed and healthy New Year.