Joanie Yoder's reflection in Our Daily Bread for tomorrow:
"We walk by faith, not by sight." -- 2 Corinthians 5:7
We often wish we could see what lies around the corner in life. Then we could prepare for it, control it, or avoid it. A wise person has said, "Though we can't see around corners, God can." How much better and more reassuring that is!
One day my 10-year-old granddaughter Emily and I were boiling eggs for breakfast. As we stared into the boiling water and wondered how long it would take to get the eggs just right, Emily said, "Pity we can't open them up to see how they're doing." I agreed. But that would have spoiled them, so we had to rely on guesswork, with no guarantee of results.
We began talking about other things we would like to see but can't--like tomorrow. Too bad we can't crack tomorrow open, we said, to see if it's the way we would like it. But meddling with tomorrow before its time, like opening a partly cooked egg, would spoil both today and tomorrow.
Because Jesus has promised to care for us every day--and that includes tomorrow--we can live by faith one day at a time (Matthew 6:33-34). Emily and I decided to leave tomorrow safely in God's hands. Have you?
YET ANOTHER YEAR is about to fly past. Spent quite a lot of time today tidying up the books, files, papers, CDs, etc. in my study room. Found an old calendar with many beautfiul paintings. One of them depicted two men moving forward hurriedly with such angst in their faces that i was strangely moved. The words on the right read (as far as I can remember): "Peter and John rushing to the empty tomb."
Took out a pair of scissors and cut out the picture with some words below. Scanned all other pictures carefully. Ah, a picture which depicted the nativity scene. Cut that out too. Then threw the old calendar away.
While praying over tomorrow's gospel reading (John 20:1-8) just now, i was reminded of two retreats in Chiang Mai. ...the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he 'saw' and believed..." (John 20:8) Ah yes, the last reading for my retreat in December 2004 (It's the Lord!)! Ah yes, St Magdalene's feastday in July 2005.
Jesus said to [Thomas], "...Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe." (John 20:29) So desu ne!
And now, as i took out the Peter & John picture again, the words below jumped up: "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you." (Jeremiah 29:11-12)
Apophenia! ;-) (This phenomena, btw, has been described as "making connections where none previously existed" by a very interesting blogger called Danah Boyd.) Coincidence or providence? i'm inclined to think it's the latter. Afterall, this 'connection' did not appear before prayer, but just after it.
I know who holds the future,
And I know who holds my hand;
With God things don't just happen--
Everything by Him is planned. -- A. Smith
Another very meaningful reading from Our Daily Bread -- Into The Unknown by David McCasland:
One of the greatest obstacles we face in following Christ is fear of the unknown. We yearn to know in advance the outcome of our obedience and where He is taking us, yet we are given only the assurance that He is with us and that He is in charge. And with that, we venture into the unknown with Him.
Abraham modeled the response of a person who is willing to walk with God into an uncertain future. "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8).
Abraham knew that God had called him and had given him a promise¡ªand that was enough. He was willing to entrust his future to the Lord.
We may do the same by trusting our Lord for the future and stepping out in faith. As we stand on the threshold of a new year, may this prayer of faith and anticipation be ours:
O Lord God, who has called us, Your servants,
To ventures of which we cannot see the ending,
By paths as yet untrodden,
And through perils unknown,
Give us faith to go out with good courage,
Not knowing where we go
But only that Your hand is leading us
And Your love is supporting us. Amen.