I remember my father-in-law, Walter Block, sharing a number of years ago, how as a young boy he would head off across the white field of freshly fallen snow towards the old school house with certain determination to walk as straight a line as he could!  After he had walked a while, he would turn around to look back at the track he had left in the previously unmarked snow and discovered just how crooked his tracks really were!  Walter shared that he often felt the same way when he looked back over the previous year, and no matter how determined he was to “walk” differently, he was disappointed with the times he had stumbled about.  I don’t know if you know my father in law, but I can tell you he is an incredible man of God who I admire a great deal.  He does walk a path that I would not be ashamed to follow, as anyone who knows him, knows his love for people, love for His Lord and his desire to please God.

I have thought often of that story and thought how true in my own life.  We are now half way through January and for many of us we are recalling the New Year’s resolutions, promises, and sometimes, just plain good intentions that we made just a couple of weeks ago and wonder how we have already veered off course.  From one year to the next we never know what the year will hold.  This past December one of my dearest friends passed away.  Roxanne challenged our group of friends last winter to ‘take care of ourselves, make that doctor’s appointment, eat better and exercise’ she never knew or dreamed it was her last year on earth.  

While her suggestions are very good ones, Roxanne had already made the most important commitment of her life many years earlier.  Roxanne had placed her trust in Jesus Christ, asking Him to forgive her sins and to come into her life as her Lord and Saviour.  

While Walter’s story reminds me that none of us will ever be able to walk a perfect life as we are told in Romans 3:10, “There is none righteous, no, not one”; Roxanne reminded me that a life committed to Christ is the most important commitment we can ever make.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.  

Although Roxanne didn’t know 2023 would be her last year on earth, when she received her cancer diagnosis this spring, she was not thrown into despair.  I’ll never forget her response to the news. Roxanne declared, ‘there is no fear for I KNOW where I am going’.  In many ways, she had prepared for this many years before.  Roxanne secured her place in heaven placing her life in her Saviour’s Hands.

Are you prepared for what 2024 will bring?  I don’t know what my year will actually hold any more than you do but I do know that my Heavenly Father will walk along side me through it all.  If you already have placed your trust in God, as I did many years ago, then perhaps your heart’s cry is like mine, that God would do a new work in my heart drawing me ever closer to my Saviour.  Isaiah 43:19 says, “For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland”.

I am so thankful that God is a God of new beginnings, fresh starts, and more love than you and I can ever imagine.  If you are wondering what 2024 will hold for you, I can assure you, if you place your life in the One who loves you most, He will walk every step of the way with you.

-Heather Block