Looking to Jesus
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV)
The other day, I was trying to find some information for a friend and had to look back at my journal entries from 1998 to 2006 to find the requested details, and as I did, I was amazed. Perusing those pages reminded me of people, places, celebrations, accomplishments, setbacks, losses, struggles, sadness, laughter, questions, concerns, hopes, wishes, and endless wonderings—and through it all—I saw God’s faithfulness and help.
Those eight years were a period marked by global uncertainty and personal change, including the Y2K scare, the 9/11 attacks, my children's entry into school, and several career shifts—to name a few. During that time, I made choices, took steps, and did things (some good and some not so good) that affected my journey (and my journaling), but I could have never planned, predicted, or orchestrated the path that was realized in my life. Looking back, I resonate with the prophet Jeremiah who said, “I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course” (Jeremiah 10:23, NLT).
Within my journal, I record not only the events that occur in my life but also what is happening in my heart and mind at the time. I talk to God as I write, and sprinkled throughout my journal entries over those years, I noted that I had written the prayers, "Jesus, guide me," "Jesus, show me," and "Jesus, help me," multiple times. Amidst the whirlwind of daily life, I did what I could—I looked to Jesus.
Here at the threshold of 2024, I wonder what stories (and prayers) will unfold within the pages of my journal this year. It is a time of great instability in our world. There is much environmental, economic, and societal upheaval, and tragedy abounds as wars rage in multiple places across the globe. Personally, I know that the landscape of my relationships, finances, and health will change too—and with change comes challenge. What will that course look like? I don’t know. Those pages haven’t been written yet.
So for now, I choose to heed the words of the author of Hebrews, and step into the unknown of this year, focusing on the one thing within my control—looking to Jesus. And I'm certain that someday, when I reflect on the story written within those journal pages of my life, I will be amazed to find—through it all—God’s faithfulness and help.