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Sunday, January 9, 2011

For the Journey Ahead...Fully Trust in God...

"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls..."  (Jeremiah 6:16, NIV)

Its been almost 10 days into the new year, we are always "on the road"; yes, our life is indeed a journey, filled with crossroads.  Many continue to rush into the new year with celebrations, festive mood, enthusiasm and eagerness, excited about the possibilities for personal growth, career advancement, bonus incentives, success, good health and happiness.  Nevertheless, the unknown path must still be journeyed..

This January, the genesis of the new year, provide us with an opportune time to review our own road maps.  We would be wise to reflect on the places and paths, where our hearts have travelled during the past year - recollecting the places which have blessed us, enriched us and enlivened us, places where there have been roadblocks, detours or sometimes, even dead ends which had ambushed us into anger, loss of hope, an unexpected path or various negative thinking patterns.  Similarly, we must also ponder situations that challenged us, discouraged us, tested us or maybe even tried to destroy us from continuing the journey - as happened to the disciples along the road to Emmaus... (Luke 24:13)

How will the rest of this new year turn out?  Would the year ahead be a long and winding one, bumpy and filled with potholes, detours, dark and hopeless?  Would the year be calling you to take a bit of risks?  Would the year be short and maybe the last?  Would the path be chirpy and bright, filled with prosperity, hope and joy?

Under these circumstances, we must immitate the faith of our forefather, Abraham - obedient and placing all trust in the God who love us all and will continue to shepherd each one of us.  Whether we experience the loss of a well-established job, a family, a loved one, a home or just our healthy well-being, He will carry us through if we but just call upon Him and surrender all our burdens to Him.

As we place our trust in God, we will have the courage to take a few more steps into the unknown and confront whatever events that may or may not surprise us along the way. The only thing certain is that God will be with us along this pilgrimage back home. We can be sure that He will heal us and carry us through whatever bitterness and pains; sustaining us with peace throughout the journey.  God will always give His people His His ways...we just have to place all our trust in Him.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

Take a little time to be simply quiet, to gently take stock, calmly ponder and live more fully in the present moment - refuel and restore your energy for the remaining part of the journey; which is so often distracted by "worldly noise and distractions", sapping us dry - whether at home, at work or with the people we meet.

Here's Psalm 71 for a simple reflection against the backdrop of a very peaceful instrumental...brings back very precious moments for me...a reminder of my late dad...still my faithful companion of peace on this journey...

Psalm 71

In you, LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue and deliver me;
listen to me and save me!

Be my rock and refuge,
my secure stronghold;
for you are my rock and fortress.
My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked,
from the clutches of the violent.

You are my hope, Lord;
my trust, GOD, from my youth.
On you I depend since birth;
from my mother's womb you are my strength;
my hope in you never wavers.

I have become a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge!
My mouth shall be filled with your praise,
shall sing your glory every day.

Do not cast me aside in my old age;
as my strength fails,
do not forsake me.
For my enemies speak against me;
they watch and plot against me.
They say, "God has abandoned that one Pursue, seize the wretch!
No one will come to the rescue!"

God, do not stand far from me;
my God, hasten to help me.
Bring to a shameful end those who attack me;
Cover with contempt and scorn those who seek my ruin.
I will always hope in you and add to all your praise.

My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds,
day after day your acts of deliverance,
though I cannot number them all.
I will speak of the mighty works of the Lord;
O GOD, I will tell of your singular justice.

God, you have taught me from my youth;
to this day I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
Now that I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, God,
That I may proclaim your might to all generations yet to come,
Your power and justice,
God, to the highest heaven.

You have done great things;
O God, who is your equal?
You have sent me many bitter afflictions,
but once more revive me.

From the watery depths of the earth
once more raise me up.
Restore my honor;
turn and comfort me,
That I may praise you with the lyre for your faithfulness, my God,
And sing to you with the harp,
O Holy One of Israel!

My lips will shout for joy
as I sing your praise;
my soul, too,
which you have redeemed.
Yes, my tongue shall recount your justice day by day.
For those who sought my ruin will have been shamed and disgraced.

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