Happy New Year — Ouch!

“. . . waiting for me . . .”
 
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“They are like lions, waiting for me, wanting to tear me to pieces.” (Psalm 17:11-13)

I spotted this hawk on New Year’s day as he perched on the utility lines and waited for something to move in the field beside the highway.  He was pretty intense and persistent.  I know because I had forgotten my camera and took the chance to go home and retrieve it for a possible photo.  By the time I returned he had shifted his position, but was still intently watching the field.  That sharply-hooked beak and two small but deadly talons protruding below the cable that supported him betray the true agenda for his watching.  He was waiting for lunch, and would probably shred the first small mammal that poked its head from a hole in the field below.  Happy New Year!

Hopefully we’ve taken a pretty optimistic leap into the new year, anticipating lots of positive opportunities and possibilities.  Yet, when I saw this hawk I was reminded that as good as the year will be (another miracle from God), there also will be the lions (or hawks) that will be waiting.  The new year will bring both joy and sorrow.  (Believe me, having just lost two days to the stomach flu I am very mindful of this).  Hope embraces both joy and sorrow.  Hope comes not just from the experience of joy but also the experience of the presence and promise of God in the midst of sorrow. 

Hope is what we need for the new year.  Hope is what God promises.  If you take the time to read all of Psalm 17 that’s the message you will find.  The psalmist has a realistic view of both the uncertainties and difficulties of life, as well as the faithfulness of God.  That’s HOPE!  I pray that God will help me keep my focus on hope for myself and others.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, WV

Help save lives! For more information on my new book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit www.survivingteendepression.com.

Check out my new video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24
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~ by revgenelson on January 9, 2013.

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