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Listen while you read: "For Thy Mercy And Thy Grace"1 (Lyrics)
As I look out of my living room window early in the morning, I see a seagull standing on the rooftop of the neighbour's two-story building. What is he looking for? Another sea gull? He looks so alone, taking stock of his domain. The ocean is just down the street, and the mountains stretch out behind him. It must be quite a view for him. Which way does he go?
As we stand on the brink of this new year looking into the unknown, which way do we go? We need to pray for direction and support — or at least I do. This new year will bring massive changes for which I need to prepare and pray my way through. I am expecting to move into residential care. I don't have much energy these days, and much looks like the view from a hard rooftop. What shall I do? What should you do?
This verse gives me some direction and hope:
Isaiah 40:31 – But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)
I can see myself up on the rooftop ready to fly off. With God leading, I know the way that I need to go, soaring away on wings like eagles, safely guided.
This city has a lovely beach, and the grass has often held what seemed like thousands of birds clustered together. As I watch the seagull on the rooftop, I am with it in spirit. A recent culling has left him alone, for many birds have been taken from the area. Now, those that are left need to learn what it is like to be alone, flying off into the future.
But you and I are never totally alone. The Bible reminds us that the Lord Jesus is leading the way into the future. Psalm 103:5 reminds us of God, "who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." (NIV) No matter how hard and difficult the future is, the Lord Jesus guides us through each day, through every problem and hard decision. Yes, Scripture reminds us that our youth is renewed like the eagle's, even when we look ahead with doubt and confusion. All is safely undertaken as the Lord leads us along through every age.
Let us take our confusion to the Lord and commit this day and the new year to Him. He will guide us through with love and joy.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as we stand on the rooftop of the new year, may we fly straight into Your arms where we are guided and protected by You. In Your name, we pray. Amen.
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Thanks for the good word Iris. Happy New Year.
I have no doubt that you will be guided on the right path. Bless you, Iris.
God will never leave you nor forsake you. Wishing you a blessed and fruitful new year, Iris.
Thank you for the encouraging word Iris. God bless you and I as we move forward into the new year.
Thanks Iris for sharing this devotional with us. Many blessings be upon you in the coming year. Blessings.
Thank you for comforting message. 2017 will have its challenges in our home as well. Retirement and aging are full of surprises and changes.
Good morning Iris,
Thank you for your devotional today – just what I needed!
May God continue to bless and guide you in 2017.
Happy new year Iris. God love you and guide you always. May He be your strength as you move to a new environment, and lead you to contribute many more words of wisdom through your devotionals. Blessings.
Thank you for your encouraging New Year devotional. What a beautiful and inspiring metaphor is flight, upheld by the Lord!
Dear Iris, my blessings are with you as you make this transition into residential care. You will be happy there with the Lord guiding your path.
Thank you for another lovely devotional. May God bless you abundantly in the year to come as you make this big change in your life. I pray that for you it will turn out to be a welcome help and an opportunity for new friendships that will bless your life. I know that God will be with you all the way!
Once again your devotional hit the nail on the head for me.
I want to wish you the best as you move into residential care. With that faith you expressed and that outlook, it can`t help but be good!
Thank you for your thought-provoking thought.
I too am old and in a place of refuge. May your move to somewhere safe be a joyous one. Blessings in 2017. An 87 year old happy wee Christian.
Thank you for your words of encouragement and wisdom for the New Year.
The Lord is our strength, a very present help. He will be our Guide!
May His presence, peace and joy fill your 2017 as you are renewed and bring Him glory in this next chapter!
Thank you for your words of encouragement. God bless you and all dear to you in 2017 and beyond.
The Peace of Christ be with all of us.
Happy New Year.
Dear Iris, Thank you for all the lovely sharing of thoughts.
May God bless you. Jude 1 ; 24 To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.
Thank you, your friendship is my joy.
Thank you for a very important message to read over and over again. Your friend from many years ago is dealing with lost of sight. She can’t drive or read so she’ll miss this message about your moving and accepting help from others. May 2017 be a year filled with God’s blessings for you and all who are helping you.
Greetings for a very Blessed New Year Iris!
Thank you for being a regular contributor to the Daily Devotionals. Always enjoy reading your contributions and messages of hope.
May the Lord’s many blessings be upon you in the New Year 2017 and beyond.
Thank you for your devotional.
I pray for you that God will be powerful in and with you as you make this move. I praise God for your exemplary attitude.
I pray that you will be able to continue your writing of devotionals after you are settled.
Thank you, Iris, for the lovely, gentle thoughts.
We here in the US are presented each day with more ugliness, more threats to make life harder, threats to other countries and even our own citizens. Your words broke the spell.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and faith. Your message affirms with me what I know but sometimes seem to be slow remembering, that our God is here for us always and His promises are forever.
The Holy Spirit walks with us each day.
God bless, and may this new year be a good one for you Iris. I always enjoy your devotionals.
Thank you so much for your devotional today. I am at that phase where I will be making a long distance move to a residence this coming year. Your words and God’s scripture used spoke clearly to me of my biggest requirement in it all. Turn it all over to Him to take away all the stress of this major downsize. God Bless you and continue to write. Have a Blessed 2017.
Your devotional is poignant and will speak to so many people about these major life-changing experiences. Fear of the unknown can be overwhelming, but we as Christians, and as you point out, have our faith in God’s grace to carry us through. Prayers from your Christian fellowship is also a help.
I pray the transition will be beneficial for you.
Hi Iris. Happy New Year.
I am quite amazed that this devotional is so much like the teaching on God’s leading that I have been receiving from the Lord lately. Yet, why should I be? All the way His hand has led us to this place where He wants us to be. May He continue to lead you and comfort you as you move on to this new residence where He will continue His work through you.
Iris – what a marvellous way to close 2016 – thinking of the world from the metaphoric perspective of a seagull – one of God’s magnificent creatures. Thank you for the reminder to thank God for all the blessings of this year and to look to HIM for guidance in 2017 as the mundane, pleasant and difficult times of life arise. May God guide you with HIS wisdom and timing regarding the decisions you will need to face. Your writing is a blessing to the reader community. God Bless you.
As I read your devotion this morning I am sitting near a window on the 16th floor of our friends’ condo where we stayed last night. I can well imagine soaring on eagle’s wings.
Isaiah 40:31 has always been one of my favourite Scriptures.
I continue to pray for you, Iris. May you be richly blessed and have His peace that passes understanding in the year ahead.
Greetings! I sincerely hope you had a great Christmas and wish you an adventurous New Year 2017.
I will be remembering you in my prayers as you move forward into a new phase in your life.
May God grant you the strength you will need every day moving forward.
Thank you for sharing the amazing devotions throughout 2016.
May the dear Lord bless and keep you healthy and strong, may you be filled with love, peace and joy.
Best wishes always.
As you make that big move into residential care, Iris, enjoy the new opportunities that God is putting in your path. You will be meeting new people that you can show how God has influenced your life. You will have less worries as others help with daily tasks like meals and tidying. You will have the chance to try new games and crafts and entertainments.
Mount on your eagle wings and soar into this new chapter of your life!
You know that God is with you and you won’t fall!
Hello Iris, I enjoyed reading your devotional today about the seagull and not knowing which way to go. I have gone through many changes this year and am grieving the loss of my husband of over 40 yrs. I have just moved from the large home that we lived in for 30 yrs. This Christmas was sad and difficult for myself and my two children but, I am blessed to have lots of love and support from my church family. The scriptures you mentioned and your story really hit home with me today — thank you! I wish you a blessed New Year with love and peace in your life and I pray that all the changes you must go through will all go smoothly!
Yes, Iris, once again you have spoken directly to my needs in this day. Thank you! Thank you!
Like you, I, too, stand on the brink of moving into new surroundings. In fact, I’ll be handing in my application soon for what seems like the perfect answer to my needs for a seniors’ residence of caring and congenial relationships, close to my daughters’ families. How grateful I am, like you, for the guidance of our gracious Lord once again and the peace of heart that assurance provides in this time of yet another change.
My prayers will be following you with high expectation for your messages in this coming new year.
May God’s blessing continue to surround you on your journey of faith.
What a lovely choice of verses to take Daily Devotions into 2017.
Today, my verses were in Philippians 3: 13,14.
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Jesus Christ” I guess you are not “straining” towards the next stage; a move takes a lot of work and planning, not to mention “down-sizing”! Once you are settled, things will fall into place I am sure. Wishing you “happy landings” for 2017! Your friend in the “Yahweh sisterhood”,
How fitting you should end the year through the eyes of a sea gull wondering what thoughts he or she may have and what direction it should go.
Like in life we have to make choices to how we are going to lead our life’s and the direction taken to succeed in our own progress. Some people make the correct choice and others choose something else and they all come to an end somewhere, but if the choice is right in following the Pathway set out for us by our Lord and Savior guiding us, our end is Eternal life. Life is not always easy, as we are thrown curve balls to throw us off, but we just need to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and get going again on the set pathway.
Thank you for your Devotionals throughout 2016, along with the other people who have contributed. May you be inspired to continue in gathering our thoughts in reading this devotional.
Thank you for your books and meditations over the years. I feel close to you as I have read your books over and over and always can tell before I look at the end of a meditation that you have written it. I have been helped by many of them.
I trust that you will find happiness and be well looked after in your new home. My Mom had to go to a nursing facility when she was 91 and they have looked after her well and with God’s blessings she is now over 100.
My prayer for you is that you will be as fortunate as my Mom and that with God’s help and many blessings that you will also prosper In your new home.
Thank you for another heartfelt devotional today. I have so enjoyed your contributions to the Daily Devotional since I signed up in 2015. I very much hope that the changes you face will not shut you down but offer fresh opportunities for inspiration.
Currently, by God’s grace, our life is relatively stable, but for a period of over 10 years, we moved to several countries and eventually became Canadian citizens. It was quite a roller coaster! But despite being married to a determined atheist, God was with us and continued to give me reassurance and strength to cope with all the adjustments that moves to new countries required.
Transition takes time… what I call ‘deracination’ (uprooting) takes adjusting to, till things become comfortable & familiar, but God walks with us, at every step as we let go of what was, embrace the new and discover new possibilities.
I wish you well Iris, and may God be with you every step of the way through 2017.
May God pour His blessings upon you this new year and surround you with His peace. With your devotionals, you help us all soar with the eagles.
What wonderful devotionals you write. Right from your heart. Thanks for sharing and best wishes for new year.
Whe I get discouraged and arthritis is bothering me a lot, I sing the hymn based on that verse and I can tell you I actually start to feel better.
It is a wonderful verse and thanks for reminding me of its power.
Dear Rev. Ford,
Thank you for your timely message.
My wife of sixty years was Promoted to Glory recently. Like you, I have to make some significant decisions in 2017 and I’m not sure which way I should go.
Fortunately I believe, as my son often reminds me, that God is in control.
As we enter 2017, I am confident that God will give us wisdom that we will make the right decisions under His guidance.
Thanks again for taking the time to write this meaningful devotional.
I have just finished reading your Daily Devotional titled “Which way to Go? This is certainly a question that no doubt seniors ask themselves daily. I, like you, will someday be asking this same question. At the moment I am still able to look after my 89 year old husband, but some days I do wonder which way to go. As you quote from Isaiah 40:31 I truly believe in “hope” and maybe the seagull although he stands along has hope of finding his next meal?
Each Christmas I gain courage from the Advent song “Hope is star that shines in the night, leading us on till the morning is bright.”
I wish you well in the year ahead and many blessings and prayers. Thank you for your devotionals. I pray you will keep on writing.
(Prince Edward Island)