The Preacher's Wife

The Jumping Off Place

Every year at this time most of us take pause to reflect on our position from various standpoints of view. We stand in the doorway between last year and next year, between yesterday and tomorrow. We will all have a mixed bundle of memories from experiences of the past year, some will be happy and some will be sad, some will bitter and some will be sweet. Some will have knocked us to the ground in helpless defeat and some will have lifted us from defeat to victory, some will have left us broken in grief and some will have wrapped us in love and encouragement and comfort. And so on and so on. No one has a life totally filled with ease and comfort and happiness and joy and success. We all experience our share of disappointment and sorrow and pain and fear and stress. And so we know that in the coming New Year we will do the same in some degree.

What we don't know is what or how or when these different experiences, good and bad, will come. Therefore it behooves us to have assurance that we will be overcomers in the important sense of the word...that no matter what might befall us, we have a sure deliverance. Oh, I am not being blind to life's tragedies and trials and sorrows. . but I know there is spiritual Deliverance and Victory and Hope and Strength in Christ Jesus, our Comforter and our Friend . There is nothing that can happen to us that He will not be with us, His Everlasting Arms about us, carrying us gently as a babe when our own strength is gone and drying our tears when we are broken and drowning in our grief. The Word is full of precious promises of His Presence and power and protection and guidance. While in His Infinite Wisdom He will not remove every trial and every trouble from us He will not forsake us to our own weak defense. He does not take every burden away from us but He makes it bearable. In Isaiah 43:2 we read: "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and throught the rivers, they shall not overflow thee."

There is a wellknown saying we have all used many times. "Well, Where do we go from here?" Well... we move forward with confidence into the unknown future, knowing that God has already prepared a way, and that He is already there waiting to meet us and make the journey with us. He will share our joys and our victories and He will share our trials and trouble. We will never be alone. He will make the dark places plain, the night will become as bright as noonday, the chill of winter will become as spring, full of hope and promise. Oh yes, I know... It's easy to say these things sitting here in my chair, warm and cozy, safe and protected, surrounded by loved ones who love me as I love them. I pray that as this New Year unfolds that I will remember these things I have written and when Satan comes and slyly whispers DEFEAT, that can say, "Be gone, Satan. My life is hid with Christ in God and all my days and the days of those I love most are in His nail-scarred hands. He cares for us beyond measure and we will trust Him for whatever is ahead."

When I was a small child, my daddy would often take the family for a ride. I remember when the road would rise sharply before us between two hills, it looked as though it just ended there, right into nowhere. He would tease us and say, "Hold on tight. There's the "JUMPING OFF PLACE " and I would hang on to the back of the front seat with all my strength, my heart in my throat, hold my breath and wait to fall over the end of the road. Well, what do ya' know? The road didn't end at continued right down a gentle slope on thru fields and meadows safe and secure. Being so young, it took a little while for me to realize that what looks like the Jumping Off Place is just a change in the road into a place we can't see from where we are. And I would keep asking Daddy. Is this another "Jumping Off Place." Yeah, I know, Silly now, but to a tiny child simple changes look awfully scary and awfully big. In the coming year we will come to many places that appear to be Jumping Off Places. But the road is still there, just changed course till it is out of our sight, and the Designer and Creator of the Universe knows where it leads. And it leads HOME.


Copyrights ©RuthRMartin January 1, 2007


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