Is it ‘the End’ OR Is it ‘the Beginning’!

As we are looking at the last day, the last few hours, and minutes, until the ‘books’ are closed on the year of 2020, I encourage you with these thoughts.  For many, this ‘soon-to-be-over year’ will be dates on the monthly calendar as memorable days, while for others it will be dates and moments filled with trials that came unexpectedly, and un-welcomed.  However, for all reading this CRA Moment, by the grace of God, we have not only survived but in many aspects we have all thrived; and aside from the days of ‘lock-downs’ we remain free and protected simply because of Jesus.

Perhaps the one thing many of us share feelings with one another in, is that when we go though tough times as we recently have, a person may feel abandoned by God.  David knew what it was like, and in Psalm 34:18 penned these words: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  Isaiah the prophet also knew difficult days and he wrote in chapter 57, vs. 15, “This is what the High and Lofty One says…‘I dwell in a high and holy place, yet also with the one who is crushed and lowly in spirit, in order to revive the spirit of those who have been pushed down, who have been crushed.’”

At the closing hours of 2020, you may be feeling that if God is with you; if He is for you; how could ‘things’ possibly be so bad?  If so, I believe these words from the Bible were prepared just for you.

In the later part of the book of Genesis, Joseph had become governor of Egypt, second only to the King. Later, after he had revealed himself to his brothers and to his father Jacob, Jacob decided to move the family to Egypt.  Genesis 46 vs. 27 records, “All the persons of the house of Jacob who went to Egypt were seventy.” However, when all the names of the family listed in the Bible are counted, the count comes to sixty-nine.  Was it sixty-nine or was it seventy?  And, if there were seventy, who was the seventieth individual?

Also, there ‘appears’ to be a ‘discrepancy’ when the Jews were exiled to Babylon in 582 BC.  The story is that the Babylonians counted the Jewish captives when they left Israel and again when they reached Babylon.  Scholars who have examined the Bible state, “no matter how many people were counted before the boat set sail, there was always one more than the original number when the ship arrived.”  Like with Jacob’s report, the Babylon report reveals one extra person than the number first reported.  With the Babylonians being perplexed, the Jews explain it this way.  “As soon as we went into exile, our God joined us.  He is found on each boat together with His children.”  In the same way, when the children of Israel went to Egypt, and the beginning of what was a tough, and severe time, Genesis 46:4 tells us, “I will go down to Egypt with you.”   Was it not possible that it was God Himself Who was with the children of Israel in both cases, making up the one-extra-person, who is ‘the very same One’ who has been with you for the last 365 days? 

The Psalmist David reminds us in Psalm 23 that you and I as believers never face the darkness alone, for “Even though (you and I) walk through the darkest valley, (we) will fear no evil, for you are with (us).”

As we are getting ready to ‘cross-over’… I leave you with these simple yet power filled words: 

Keep the faith!   We win in 2021!

Blessings, Psalm 20:7 Dale & Jeannie