January 1, 2021
I was born and raised in the southern tip of India. Our home was situated by the bank of a flowing river, so flooding was a normal event for us during the monsoon season.
I vividly remember one evening when my mother called to me and said, “Son, go and tie the canoe to the tree so it will not float away during the night.” I think I was 7 or 8 at the time. I did what my mother had instructed, but the next morning our wooden canoe was gone!
I learned that I had tied up the canoe so close to the tree by the bank of the river, that when the water level rose that night, the canoe was unable to rise with the water because the rope that held it would not let it move. So in the end, the water rose up and drowned our little canoe.
Our lives are often like this simple canoe. Just like the rope that held it down, the memories of our past can hold us captive and keep us from rising above the challenges of life as we move forward.
Failure. Setbacks. Disappointments. Struggles. Bad Choices. Hurts and griefs. All of these are part of our normal lives on earth. As people, we are bound by time, space and matter. But God is beyond all of that. He is outside of our present and is able to see all from the beginning until the end. The promise God gives to us is that His thoughts toward us are good (Psalm 40:5; Jeremiah 29:11). That means all that happened in our lives, including all that took place in 2020, will be used by God to be a blessing in our lives.
As you walk into this next season, cut the rope that is holding you down with self-pity and negative thoughts. Know that this new year will be a year of “goodness and mercy” (Psalm 23:6). And no matter what, be assured that God will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is your loving heavenly Father.
At the same time, we are meant to learn lessons from our past. I heard a statement once from someone who said, “Death is not an event, it is a process.” Another year has slipped behind us. Our lives are the living dead (Romans 6:2-13), and it is useless to live for the passing shadow of this world of materialism or to spend our time hungering after the honor and praise from others. He has created and redeemed us for something much bigger.
May this new year of 2021 find you choosing to embrace life by living for others. This is the path to experiencing life in its full and true meaning.
May the blessings of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you from the beginning of this new year of 2021 until the last day.
Season of Lent is a journey to spiritual growth, renewal and an opportunity to know the Lord Jesus more intimately and closely. We must hear the Lord speaking to us all along the way as the journey continues so that our heart-attitude will become more like His. The way to attain this is by deliberately choosing an attitude of confession, denying of self, fasting, meditation, prayer and supplication. And, the life is enriched with humility of Christ and service to others. This daily devotional will do just that: bringing the focus upon Jesus and enabling spiritual renewal in our walk with the Lord.
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