Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Standing At The Portal Of The Opening Year"1 (Lyrics)
It is now 2022 — a new year.
Frequently, people make New Year's resolutions — although more are probably broken than kept!
Resolutions require a decision to do — or not to do — something, and then action to make that resolution happen.
Perhaps, you have made one or more resolutions this new year, and you may be in the process of making those resolutions a reality.
I think that one of the best resolutions is that recorded by Joshua.
Joshua 24:15b – But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (NIV)
Unfortunately, we can also resolve to do things totally contrary to Joshua's resolution.
Almost four years ago, on April 23, 2018, a disturbed young man resolved to rent a van and drive recklessly down Yonge Street, the main street of Toronto. He killed ten people and injured sixteen others. It was horrific to look down from my balcony that afternoon to see injured and dead bodies strewn on the sidewalk and street. That terrible event affected me, my fellow residents, and people in Toronto, across Canada, and even around the world.
But something positive that came out of that day made the news in November 2021.
Amaresh Tesfamariam had been en route to her job at Fudger House, a long-term care home in downtown Toronto, when the van paralyzed her from the neck down. She remained in the hospital until her death at the end of October 2021.
Yet, she learned how to speak through the ventilator valve, and she would tell the doctors that she felt so rich because she was surrounded by loving family. She maintained such a positive attitude.
Despite the pain of her loss, family members say that they are trying to follow her example to be kind, patient, and above all, grateful.
When I was discussing this with a senior staff member, she reminded me of my devotional that was published on June 1, 2018, entitled Alone, in which I wrote about how hundreds marched down Yonge Street singing the words by Kristin Chenoweth, made famous by Bill Gaither:
- Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives.
Even as we remember so many bad things, like the Yonge Street van attack or the deaths, disruptions, and inconvenience of the current pandemic, I hope that you will join me in resolving to be grateful, kind, and helpful to others, following the direction of Jesus.
Matthew 5:38-39 – Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (KJV)
Certainly, a resolution to follow the teachings of Jesus, spoken almost 2000 years ago, and the resolution proclaimed by Joshua hundreds of years before that, would be our best resolutions for 2022!
Prayer: Dear Father, help us to resolve to follow the teachings given to us by Jesus. With His help, may we share Your love with others. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.