The year before our eyes
(J. C. Philpot)
"As your daysóso shall your strength be."
The year before our eyes may hold
in its bosom
events which may deeply concern and affect us.
We do not know what is to come. What personal
trials, what family trials, what providential trials
may await usówe do not know.
Sickness may attack our bodies,
death enter our families,
difficulties beset our circumstances,
trials and temptations exercise our minds,
snares entangle our feet, and
many dark and gloomy clouds,
make our path
one of heaviness and sorrow.
Every year hitherto
has brought its trials in
its train; and how can we
expect the coming
year to be exempt?
If, indeed, we are His, whatever our trials
may be, His grace will be sufficient for us.
He who has delivered, can and will deliver.
And He who has brought us thus far on the road,
who has so borne with our crooked manners in the
wilderness and never yet forsaken usóthough we
have so often forsaken Himówill still lead us along;
will still guide and guard us, and be our God, our
Father and our Friendónot only to the end of the
next year, if spared to see it, but the end of our life.
Blessed with His presence, we need fear no evil;
favored with His smile, we need dread no foe;
upheld by His power, we need shrink from no trial;
strengthened by His grace, we need panic at no suffering.
Knowing what we are and have been when left to
ourselvesóthe slips that we have made, the snares
that we have been entangled in, the shame and sorrow
that we have procured to ourselvesówell may we dread
to go forth in the coming year alone. Well may we say,
"If Your Presence does not go with usódo not send us
up from here!" Exodus 33:15