For as long as I can remember, on the first Sunday of the year, I have drawn a text for the New Year. When I was too young to do it myself, or when I was away at school, or in service, my mother would draw it for me. At Fries we keep a basket of texts left over from New Year’s sitting in the small vestibule that is between the hall on the main floor and the sanctuary. One Sunday when I was emotionally taxed, I did not wait for a new year. I drew an extra text. I read it, took comfort from it, and tucked it away in my billfold. Eventually, it was taken out of my billfold and stuffed in a desk drawer. Just this week, when I was again emotionally taxed, I rediscovered it. I know it is for me. Perhaps it is for you, too. In Isaiah 43:16 we read:
The Lord makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters.
It is a reference to God’s deliverance of Israel at the Yom Suph (Reed Sea/Red Sea) during the nation’s exodus from Egypt. The people were trapped between the water and the armies of Pharaoh, and God made a way for them in the midst of the sea. The text refers to that event, but it is in the present tense. Even now, when we need it, “the Lord makes a way.” Will we let him? Often it requires our cooperation. A wise man once said, “Without God, we cannot; without us, God will not.”
Prayer: O, Lord, in these difficult times, make a way for us, as individuals, as a church, as a nation, as the people of your pasture. We belong to you. Our lives are hid with Christ in you. Nevertheless, you call upon us to live in this world. May each of us do that not to the best of our abilities, but to the best of your abilities. Help us O Lord, and help us to receive the help. Amen.