Wow! Can you believe it? 2018 has come and within a few hours it will be gone… just another paragraph in the pages of history. Well, maybe for some but definitely not for me. 2018 will forever be inscribed into my heart for it was the year that my beloved wife Piper Kaye moved on to heaven, back on September 2nd.
I was joking with the dog last night… yeah, I’m still doing that… telling him that I spent eight years taking care of Piper around the clock and then she simply packed up and left. The joke came in when I had to correct myself and explain to Fiver that yes, she moved on but didn’t take any of her stuff but in stead, left it all here! I don’t know… it was funny to me at the moment! Especially since I had all the recent memories of packing my stuff for a Christmas vacation with the kids in Oklahoma.
2018 started out with a lot of promise for me. At the end of the previous year the Lord gave me the scripture from Luke 2:18 where the writer declares after the shepherds left Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus at the manger in Bethlehem saying that “Everyone who heard the shepherds' story was amazed.” (God’s Word ©) I took that verse as our theme scripture for the year and wrote it down every singe day at the top of my daily Bible Study notes. And for the most part, I can report that many amazing things did happened throughout the year.
If truth be told though, I must admit that I could sense that something was changing on the negative side of Piper’s health at the beginning of the summer season. Deep down on the inside I knew that the Lord was beginning to prepare me for a drastic change. But amazingly, He continued to give me the physical, spiritual and emotional strength to wake up each morning with a smile on my face and a fresh expectation of His best for both Piper and I. Throughout those final months I had an uncanny peace in knowing that He was continuing to be in complete control of our situation.
By mid-August I knew it was time to call the kids and let them know that their Mom was transitioning unto her heavenly home. The rest of the story is well documented and now at the end of 2018 I once again turn to the Lord for His faithfulness and unconditional love to guide me through whatever my future may hold.
Early on Christmas morning while sitting alone at the kitchen table in the quiet solitude of our youngest daughter’s home in Broken Arrow Oklahoma, the Lord dropped what I believe to be my theme for 2019 into my heart. It is taken from the Apostle Peter’s first letter written to the Jews in their dispersed state throughout the world in the midst of their Babylonian captivity.
In I Peter 1:7 he explains: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (KJV) That verse really hit home with me with everything that had occurred in my life, especially since the end of August with Piper’s last days, her passing and then the overwhelming emotions that have flooded my entire being since then. But with the trials there always comes His promise of a blessed future to those who endure.
The following two verses caused me to stand up and shout as my theme for 2019 with Peter’s encouraging words declaring: “(Jesus) Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: as you obtain the salvation that is the goal of your faith.” (KJV / God’s Word ©)
There are two important things to realize about those verses. If you recall some definitions from past blogs, you’ll remember that the word “salvation” comes from the Greek word “sozo” which according to Strong’s means: “to save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): - heal, preserve, save (self), do well, and be (make) whole.” So, it looks like within all the uncertainty of my future, that there will be many days of joyful rejoicing as well as some pretty good and exciting times ahead!
So that’s the future that I am planning for as we step into 2019… What about you?
Check out I Peter 1:7 above for it tells us that our faith is much more precious than gold. So, as you go into the new year tomorrow, always remember to protect your faith while you stand upon the truths found in God and His Word.
I wish each and everyone of you a blessed, prosperous and joyful 2019.
And as you celebrate the New Year say with me… “I am expecting that my believing in God and His Word will bring me many times of rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory!”