By Stephen Myers, Director of Ministry Development
The beginning of a new year is always inspiring; it brings on new goals and resolutions with excitement, confidence, and uncertainty while asking this simple question, “What does the future have in store?”
The day after Christmas my family and I relocated to a new city in a completely different state. When we left our house in Virginia, the temperature was in the low 20s, and when we arrived at our new home in Florida that evening, we had experienced over a 50-degree rise in temperature. The familiarity of biting cold and forecasts of snow had given way to surf reports and sunscreen in January.
As our circumstances have recently changed so has our familiarity with our surroundings. As I turned out the lights to make my way to bed a few nights ago, I had mistakenly left the light on in the furthest corner of our house. I attempted to cross this now pitch-black obstacle course of chairs and couches, Legos and Matchbox cars, only to painfully experience the difficulty of a lack of familiarity in our new arrangements. In a matter of moments, I missed the familiarity of the cold wood floor in our last home.
Our journey is not rewarded in a fond remembrance of what we left behind us, but rather through trusting God and overcoming the difficulties that lie ahead. However, this is truly a difficult concept to remember, as exemplified by the nation of Israel two and a half months after departing from Egypt and slavery.
“…and the people of Israel said to them, ‘Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’” Exodus 16:3 ESV
Even though they had experienced God’s faithfulness through their deliverance, the difficulty of the journey produced a desire for the limited luxuries of captivity. Sometimes the comfort of familiarity that we long for is an idolatry of the pleasures of our enslavement. How quickly the Israelites forgot the difficulties of their captivity, when the faithfulness of God was not meeting their expectations.
The most difficult aspect of our move has not been the change in climate, but rather attempting to find our way in a new region. We had Google maps to tell us how to get from Virginia to Florida, but beyond that there is no road map for a family of six to make it in a new land. We simply hold to these truths: God is faithful and He will provide. The temptation to return to what was comfortable is even more present when it seems like you are walking in unfamiliar territory or darkness.
The Psalmist says in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
What an encouraging declaration!
The Psalmist had experienced the faithfulness of God through personal difficulties, but he gives us direction for success. Through remembering God’s faithfulness in his own life, and throughout history (Psalm 115:90-92), and relying on God’s word to direct his paths, he has a history of overcoming the difficulties of life.
Whether your current situation is the same as mine or not, I know, you can relate. As we begin the start of something new, we walk forward not knowing what difficulties lie ahead of us. Maybe you have started somewhere new, or have made resolutions to break those old habits. Remember these two truths: God is faithful and He will provide.
The past may have a nostalgia that the future will never have, but the future holds God’s promises and a hope that the past could never deliver.
Trust in God and rely upon His word.