“For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psalm 1:6, NASB95)
As we step out boldly into the New Year of 2018. There is much that we do not know. The future is almost completely veiled to us. There are some things we can predict, others we can imagine, but nothing by way of concrete events that we know for certain. This, of course, is not true of God. He sees the future as clearly as He sees the past, for He is the author of both. He knows your future down to the minutest detail. There are no rogue molecules in HIs. plan for your life.
This is no cold, heartless knowledge. The word “know” pulses with intimacy and love, like Adam knowing Eve unto her conception. Providence has planned the egress of every hair follicle on your head. Tender love stores up every tear in a bottle. When it comes to what lies in store for you, nothing-- and I mean NOTHING-- is left to chance.
His thoughts regarding your future are neither haphazard nor are they scant. “How precious are your thoughts towards me, O God, how vast is the sum of them. If I should count them they would outnumber the sand. When I awake I am still with you (Psalm 139).” God is focused upon you and your life. His boundless capacity affords him the mental clarity to give us such attention to all His creatures, to be sure, but He thinks of you as much as if you were the only person on the planet. His mental “processor” isn’t burdened by the attempt to focus on everything and everyone at once. He holds it all in the center of His attention with effortless ease. His thoughts towards you, Christians are only love, “I know the thoughts that I think towards you, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11).” Nothing will be allowed to touch your life this year unless it comports with this vision. Everyday when you wake up, God is there waiting for you to meet the day He has planned for you!
When you look to the future, what kinds of thoughts feed the “worry-monster?” Cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart attack, stroke, losing your spouse? Can you not depend on me, God says? Have I ever failed you in the past? The hand that holds the sparrow holds you tight. Still bearing the marks of nails, roughly sledgehammered through tender flesh that He took all for your poor sake, can you not trust Him to hold you fast?
Will this year bring you happiness? God knows. Will it bring you suffering and pain? God knows. Will it bring you to heaven? Your Father knows this as well. He has your death day down in His calendar. He looks forward to it more than you do. Jesus longs to have you home to see His wondrous glory (John 17:24). Would it shock you to hear Jesus pray for you, “Father, if it be possible, bring her home to me this this year. But, Oh, Father, not my will but thine be done!” As a bridegroom longs for His wedding day, Jesus longs for the day death will bring you to Him forever. It’s a wonder and shame that we don’t long for it more than we do.
Earlier this year, when Catherine returned from her trip back to Ireland, we all sat in Greensboro with baited breath. I downloaded an app on my phone to watch the progress of her flight across the Atlantic. I logged and treasured every waypoint along the way. They were all part of her journey home. It is with such thoughts, I like to think, that God looks forward to the events of 2018 in our lives. Each second, of each day, of each week, of each month brings us that much closer to home. Whatever lies before us this year, let us not fear but run forward with all the gladness of a little boy running home from school for the holidays.