A New Year Blessing

First published January 2018

The Reverend John Chandler reflects on the knowledge that God will bless and lead us wherever we are on our life journey.

I was near the stairs in the steep stand at Colchester United’s stadium, when a man tripped and fell behind me; I was able to step into the aisle and block his fall. June and I were shopping in a town we hadn’t visited before, when we bumped into someone we hadn’t seen for years. Once I was hopelessly lost in a city centre, and just as I walked up to a bus stop, a bus arrived for my destination. Three tiny examples of being in the right place at the right time. You must have had those experiences too – and like me you can probably give lots of examples of being in the wrong place at the wrong time! If there’s one thing I would wish for, this New Year, it’s that I (and everyone else) would be in the right place at the right time; just where God wants us to be – just where we can do the most good, be the most help.

Ah, you might say, but all we can do is to start from where we are - and go where we feel we should. You’re right, of course, but the New Year is also a time when we can think about our decisions, our directions and our destinations. Surely you’re not wandering about in life aimlessly – so where are you aiming for? There’s only one way of knowing you’re on the right track – and that’s if it’s on the journey from where you are to where you’re going.

That might sound a bit trite, so let me put it another way. At any given moment, you cannot be where God wanted you – and yet at the same moment, you are exactly where God wants you. Surely, in all the years up to now, so many decisions have been made by us and others to shape our lives that we’re no longer following exactly God’s original perfect plan for us. But the essence of the Gospel is that God has come to us, to where we are, to lead us on. So his eternal plan for you and for me starts afresh every moment, from the very point we are at. Yes, the very place and moment you’re reading this.

The Bible is full of new beginnings – for nations; for people; for plans (such as Noah in Genesis 22; Israel in Exodus 12; the earth in Revelation 21). No-one and no situation is beyond God’s capacity to plan, or beyond his blessing. I’m so grateful to God that you and I are included in that!

So my prayer for 2018 is that we each take a good look around us at where we are in life, know that God accepts us right here, and know that he will lead us through the year. May you be assured that you’re always in the right place at the right time to be blessed by God.

Reflections Library
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