A Blank Page

December 31, 2018
by Joel Jongkind

Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with My eye. (NKJV)

Since 1962, I have been keeping a diary. When I first started, it was almost entirely work-related. Later, when I refocused (not retired), more personal things were entered on the appropriate pages.

Every October or November, I purchase a new diary for the following year, and all the pages are blank. Usually in December, I start writing in the things that I want to remember: birthdays of my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren; birthdays and anniversaries of siblings, in-laws, and special friends; dates when certain family members and friends passed away; dates of events which were important in our lives, such as when we moved to different places and countries during my working career; dates when we are planning to do something special in the new year ahead of us, vacations, perhaps; dates of future spiritual talks at the local Long Term Care Centre; and dates when I am booked to lead church services. As the year progresses, the blank pages are filled.

Every day of everyone's life is basically a blank page. We might have made some plans or have some idea as to how things might develop, but it is out of our hands. There is a Dutch saying, which, in effect, says, Man proposes, God disposes.

As the years pass and we get older, the pages of our lives are filled with the events which take place: the things that we do and experience; the mundane as well as the exciting; the sad as well as the joyful; times when we are healthy and times when we struggle, worry, and doubt.

Every once in a while, I get out an old diary and look at what happened in that particular year. Some of the things that I wrote down surprise me, but seemed important at the time. There are some things that I look for and can't find. They may be in there, but I can't find them.

Some things are important enough to write down, others not so much, but there is one thing that we are sure of: God is with us every day. He leads us, guides us, and sustains us. Through faith in Him, we are assured that the names of all who believe in Him as Saviour and Lord are entered in the Book of Life.

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (NKJV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times when we worry about things which are happening all around us or to us. But we are assured through faith that You are with us at all times. We thank You in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    Great words of encouragement, Joel.


    Great message. Have a blessed 2019.


    Thank you, Joel, for sharing how you refocus in the New Year. Blessings.


    Amen Joel. Thanks for a good start to the day.
    Blessings.


    Helps me, Joel. From such a simple thing as this, truth comes flowing out. Memorable. I am grateful that you were inspired to write it.


    Such a wonderful promise from God that He will never leave us or forsake us! Happy New Year! May it be full of God’s richest blessings.


    Thank you, Joel, for the reassuring devotional.
    Keep writing and speaking; and I pray for God’s continued blessings for you as you continue.


    Happy New Year Pastor Joel, and thank you for your devotional today.
    I am So thankful that whatever we face Jesus is Always with us. I find such comfort in that!


    Good Morning Joel.
    There is also a Dutch saying “In the concert of life, no man has a program.”
    Blessings to you and your family.


    Thank you Joel, and Happy New Year. That scripture is one of my favorites. I picture God with his mighty right arm outstretched, sometimes supporting me, sometimes dragging me out of my problems.


    Thank you for your appropriate devotional and for sharing a favorite verse of mine – Isaiah 41:10 and then verse 13 follows and promises that He will help us. Have a year of hope claiming Romans 15:13.


    As a daily reader of this site, I look forward to your contributions. The journey your life has taken fascinates me; the spiritual lessons you draw from each experience benefit many.
    Bless you for your diligence. Joyous New Year.


    Psalm 32:8 I prefer The New Living Translation, seems more succinct.
    The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.“
    Either way brings me comfort.


    Hello Joel,
    I want to thank you for all the Devotionals you have written for many years and shared with us. They have been truly inspirational and I am grateful to have known the author and his wife many years ago. May God continue to bless you in this ministry in 2019.
    Wishing you a happy, healthy and blessed New Year.


    Dear Joel:
    Happy New Year.
    Just one comment. Isaiah 41:10 was the verse given to me as I boarded the plane for India, for the first time. It is a verse which still stays with me.
    Blessings for 2019.


    Hello
    Another great devotional. Once I accepted Christ, I would write down things I experienced, heard from Him or learned, whatever.
    This is what is comforting to me, no matter what life looks like, ‘God is in control and He is right here with me!!’
    God bless and Happy New Year.


    Dear Joel,
    A very good devotional and I can very well relate to filling up the blank spots on the calendar. How reassuring that whatever we have to get done the Lord will be there for us and help us through.
    Blessings for your writings and may your 2019 be filled with blessings from our Lord.
    (B.C.)


    Me too! I thought, after hearing about a house fire where people lost everything, about all the diaries in the attic, my life written down (since 1965, I was 18 then) and the thought of it all gripped me. After a while, I decided, if that happened, it didn’t matter so much. God knows all about it. But I find it interesting reading the past and often surprised because what I wrote is not how I remembered it! And I have to revise the stories I tell. And often what I remember is not what my children remember and visa versa. How good that God’s word is written and needs to be read often. Our memories are not very reliable. Mine for sure! Thanks for the devotional today!


    Thank you for your meaningful devotional that I reread this evening. I love the Psalm text that you open with and your last text from Isaiah 41:10 has been a favorite since October 1991 when a lady gave it to me as her favorite text that she said every night before she went to bed. It is such a great text before another year.
    Also, the mother of Catherine Marshall who wrote the book “Christy” about her mother shared how her father gave her Isaiah 41:13 when she was a young girl of 18 going to teach a one room school.
    May the Lord bless you in 2019.

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