“But as for me, I trust in You, O God. I say, You are my God.
My times are in Your hand.” (Psalm 31:14, 15)
The days of 2008 are past. There are some days in the past year that I wish I could call back and have last forever. There are also days that I would prefer to forget. Ironically, the days we long to remember seem to fade from our memory, while the days we would prefer to forget seem to stick with us. This certainly illustrates that we are not masters of our past. The same can be said of the days that lie ahead of us in 2009.
No doubt everyone enters a new year with some expectations of things he would like to have happen in the new year. Still, we enter the year with certain concerns. Seeing how 2008 ended makes us enter 2009 with mixed emotions. 2008 did not end without leaving behind some scars. We enter the new year with many global, national, local, and personal concerns, and we realize that we are virtually powerless to determine or change the events that will happen.
God’s Hands or Ours
The Psalmist speaks to us in the closing hours of the old year and the wee hours of the new year. He addresses the Most High God and says, “My times are in Your hand.” This is the vision that we must all hold fast because in God’s hand things become so very different.
Too often the tragedy in our lives is that we take what the Psalmist wrote and reverse it. We change it to, “My times are in my hand.” I have entered several homes where boldly displayed in living room is a plaque or poster that says, “I am the captain of my own ship and the master of my own destiny.” Unfortunately, many people believe that to be true. They think they can build their own happiness and be all that they can be without God.
It is only an illusion that you control your own destiny. All your plans, dreams, and calculations are meaningless if they are made without God. Where will you turn when the trials of the world come upon you and your plans for 2009 go differently than you planned? Where will you turn in times of transition, illness, or death when you are without God?
In this world of ours where we all play with the idea that we are self-sufficient, there was One who cried out in the last moments of His life, “Father into Your hand I commit My spirit.” Jesus possessed something that sustained Him through the darkest night of His life and that was the fact that His time was in His Father’s hand.
All of God
The hand of the most High God offers us security from the past and hope for the future. His hand guards us as He guides the course of the world according to His purposes. All that was bright and good is not gone—it has been preserved for all eternity in the hand of God. That which we cannot understand or explain will have its meaning because they are in the hand of God.
In God’s hand, too, are our sins. Those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord know, however, that those sins do not stay in the hand of God. Our God has cast them into the depths of the sea. They are removed from us as far as the east is from the west. God’s hand is not only able to hold us secure, but that very same hand is able to let go of our sin.
In His hand is the Year of our Lord, 2009. Knowing that should give us great comfort. Paul wrote, “For I am convinced that neither life nor death, neither angel nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39). Your time is in God’s hand.
Rev. Wybren H. Oord is the Pastor of the Covenant United Reformed Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
He is also the editor of The Outlook.