See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
Isaiah 43:19-21 (NIV)
These hectic days at the turn of the Christmas holiday force many to make real marathons between tables and relatives, with their following of happy or sad emotions, depending on the condition. The hopes entrusted to one night, considered fantastically special, are contained in two words: serenity and peace. At least in these days it seems that the lasting values of affections and health are rediscovered, even if the economy always has the upper hand over the general mood, and for many the desert seems never to end. Here is therefore the need to continue the journey in the aridity of the desert or in the tangles of the steppe. And in order not to be overcome by disappointment you can pour your hopes for improvements or at least adjustments on the new year coming. Surely those who have chosen to trust in the Lord know that it will not be a matter of time, but rather of faith nourished by the biblical text that will never fade. Heaven and earth will pass, and with them also our modest efforts and our counted days. The promise of the LORD is of a desert that can be crossed, of rivers that will bring refreshment and life, while the people of God will proclaim praises.
Dear reader, I hope you agree with me that walking with God as well as being a glorious thing is also pleasant. The wise Solomon declared that the ways of wisdom "re pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace" (Proverbs 3:17 - NIV). George Whitefield remembered a believer who, at the point of death, said to a friend: "You have heard the last words of many dying men, and these are mine: a life spent in communion with God is the greatest joy that exists in world". And then he commented: "I can only confirm that this statement is true. It is true, I have been under the banner of the Lord Jesus only for some years, but I had more joy in a single moment of communion with my God, than I could have had in a thousand years of a life of sin. I appeal to all of you that you fear God and that you walk with him: is it not so? Was not one day in the courts of the Lord better than a thousand without Him? Looking at the commandments of God, did not you have a great good, and a great reward? Has not His Word been sweeter than honey dripping from the combs? Or how did you feel when, like Jacob, you fought with your God? Did not Jesus come to meet you while meditating in the fields, being recognized in breaking the bread of His Word?
Looking back on the past year, I must thank God first of all to be able to do it, being still in the ranks of the living, and then in order: for those who surrounded me with their love, from the intimate to the farthest, for those who supported me in many projects, for those who have collaborated in the ministry and in the activities, for the great spiritual family and for the preserves that still labor in His work, and for those who have found a benefit in my humble service or only in having met Me. For each one I ask the Father of mercy to assist and guide you, covering your life with His infinite grace and granting you a measure overflowing with His Spirit for a blessed new year.
This week the Bible reading plan ends. I hope it was an edifying journey, which we will be replicating from next week.
Weekly Bible reading plan
December 24 Habacuc; Revelation 15
December 25 Zephaniah; Revelation 16
December 26 Haggai; Revelation 17
December 27 Zechariah 1-4; Revelation 18
December 28 Zechariah 5-8; Revelation 19
December 29 Zechariah 9-12; Revelation 20
December 30 Zechariah 13-14; Revelation 21
December 31 Malachi; Revelation 22
On December 28, 1904 Umberto Nello Gorietti was born in Rome, one of the Italian Pentecostal pioneers.