We spent Christmas at Disney for the second year in a row. This time last year, we learned a valuable and quite unwelcome lesson when we returned from Orlando to find our basement flooded. There’s no better way to teach your kids that “CHRISTMAS IS NOT ABOUT PRESENTS” than for many of their toys, games, and dress-up costumes to be destroyed unexpectedly by water from a failed sump pump. As individuals, we must be keenly aware of our gravitation toward materialism. HAVING earthly possessions is not inherently wrong. Yet danger lurks when worldly possessions HAVE YOU. This is why Jesus implores us to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.” Gold, silver, precious stones, designer clothing, and even family heirlooms will always fail us. Toys break, clothes go out of style, jewelry gets lost, metals tarnish, and beautiful family canvases fade.
This year though, the kids were prepared. Before we left, they made sure to pick up anything of value off the basement floor…just in case. Yet as we returned from our trip, each of us entered the house with a bit of trepidation about what we may find. There was no flood this year, but there were still lessons to be learned. Even during this Christmas season, death and sickness have visited the households of several of my closest friends and family members. Texts and emails alerting close contacts of positive virus tests seem to vibrate our phones daily. Some people are rebuilding homes from natural disasters or searching for answers in the wake of mass shootings.
No one knows what 2022 will hold. There’s no guarantee that it will be any easier than 2021. The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. We live in a world where famine, plague, and hurt will always be. There will be good times and bad. We will face many battles. That tomorrow will be better than today is not promised to any of us. Psalm 16:8 says, “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” This is my goal for the new year and every year to follow. Faith does not incubate us from the realities of life on this planet. It does, however, give us a firm foundation in the storm. While the wind and rain swirl around us, keeping our eyes on God and his sovereignty provide comfort in the mourning and joy in the sorrow. Our faith is not a blind, Disney magic type of belief. On the contrary, it is built on the reality of God’s track record of faithfulness through countless trials when I was beyond my human capabilities.
In biblical times the “right hand” signified the place of power, honor, or status. King David, the man who wrote those words in Psalms, was not unshaken because he was on the throne of his own life, calling his shots. Even though he fell terribly short on multiple occasions, He was unshaken because the Lord occupied the throne of his heart, leading, guiding, and directing his steps. He was unshaken because he chose to submit to God’s commands, trusting His character and the truth of His word. With expectancy and assurance, this should be our posture as we move forward into 2022. As the new year dawns, we can walk boldly into the next chapter because we know the author. While we can only see one page, he has already written the entire book.