Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.  1 Peter 1:3-4

The new year has surged into our lives with a tsunami of difficulty.  Everything from rising Covid cases to falling temperatures to educational challenges have hit the headlines in the first few days of 2022.  Like many folks, I tried to take stock of my goals for the year, but it was difficult in the face of what was certainly a floundering future.

Would illness overtake my family?  Would the job continue to sustain? Events on the calendar all were in jeopardy.  It was into this reality that my husband and I received an unexpected invitation to spend three days in the North Georgia mountains.  A friend had access to a lovely Blue Ridge cabin complete with amazing views, wraparound porch, fireplace, and cozy furnishings.  We arrived Sunday evening with plans for Main Street shopping, mountain hiking, and lots of rest and relaxation.

Monday morning delivered the rest and relaxation.  We woke to 3 inches of snow coating everything as far as the eye could see.  The activities planned morphed into contemplative repose.  It was lovely as we simply stayed inside, warm fire crackling, and reveled in the beauty of a winter wonderland. 

What a gift from God!  A place of solitude, quiet, and peace.  A place where we could simply BE and focus on Jesus.  Fears fell away as I looked to Jesus.  Nothing in my world outside the mountain hide-a-way had changed, but fears fell away.  He was, is, and always will be the ‘One who sees me,’; my Redeemer, my Shephard, my Friend.

I was reminded, once again, to LOOK UP!  To keep my ‘Eyes on the Son’.  Being still at the feet of Jesus allows me to RECEIVE.  I find strength there.  Strength to endure, to persist, to pray in the face of life’s fierce storms.

It is a mystery, and some might say:  well … that doesn’t work for me.

If that is you, then I would urge for more flexibility.   Give it a try, give it some time.  God instructs us to “wait upon the Lord.”  He promises that to those who do, He will renew their strength.  He created us and knows exactly what we need.  He knows the storms that we are in, and the storms that are coming.  I urge you to seek the Lord in quiet solitude, open up your heart and, like the Psalmist, ask Him to change you into into a vessel that receives Him.

We do not have control over most things that happen in our lives.  But we can always control what we look at, and what we look for, and what we look to.  During the upcoming year, turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look FULL in His wonderful face.  Think about what Jesus did for you – in the past, right now, and what He promises for your future.  An eternity with Him, without pain, or heartache or sorrow.  You are an heir to the Kingdom of Heaven – Because of Jesus.

With Jesus, I can embrace the future that is 2022, and smile with hope and anticipation, because I know my best Friend, who is also GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, will walk it with me.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.   He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”  Psalm 91:14-16


About the Author: 

Ramona Thompson is a member of the Grace Fellowship Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Her hope is that this devotional will lift up Jesus, pointing the reader to His strength, power, grace and mercy, which is made abundantly available to all who seek Him.