Washington (BWA)-- Whispering down the corridors of time comes the voice that the faithful have heard time and time again. Speaking still in these turbulent times, the voice conveys a note of reassurance. This is what it announces: "I am with you!"
When there is so much that threatens to dilute our confidence, to rob us of our equanimity, and to disturb our calm; when disappointment takes hold of us and fear wraps its evil wings around us, if we listen well, we will hear the voice still saying, "I am with you!"
When tried and proven methods fail to bring the results we expect, when institutions that once seemed so secure now generate hopelessness, when fortresses that once appeared impregnable come crashing down, if we listen keenly, we will hear the voice, still saying, "I am with you!"
The sound of that voice was sufficient for Isaac to know that fear was conquerable (Genesis 26:24). It was enough to comfort Jacob as he slept under the stars (Genesis 28:15). It was enough for Jeremiah to enjoy the certainty of divine deliverance (Jeremiah 1:8). And to his disciples - hence to us - Jesus made us this promise, before he left this world: "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
Sometimes the same assurance comes through a promise of future companionship, saying, "I will be with you." That was enough to help Moses cease from worry (Exodus 3:12). That was enough to help Joshua take his first steps as a leader (Joshua 1:5). The promise fills us with comfort as we remember the prophetic word: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you (Isaiah 43:2).
As "the old year skittles from the calendar" let us hear again the reassuring promise and, with this, let us go forward confident that God, who is with us, comes to our aid whatever the difficulties that await us in the coming year.
May our lives reflect the reassurance we have received from God, who gives us courage that is strong enough for our every encounter in the coming year. And may we share Christ with others who will be able to conquer all fear through the liberating knowledge of divine companionship.
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