The Journey

After purchasing my weekly groceries some time ago I couldn’t help but notice a couple who were going into the shop as I was leaving. There was nothing in particular that was striking about them but there was something about them that aroused my imagination. You see, they appeared to be a father and daughter, arm in arm and talking happily together totally unaware that anyone had noticed them.

I watched them for a moment of time before they disappeared into the crowd of shoppers and I thought to myself:

"Will they still be journeying together this time next year?"

I thought of all that they must have shared together: all the good and bad memories and all those things that forge depth in any relationship. They appeared to enjoy each other’s company as she offered a supporting arm upon which to lean. I was beginning to feel a little bit emotional at the thought of the inevitable heartache that one of them would know in some future day and I had to snap out of it and come back into focus so I could continue with what I had to be getting on with.

Because he appeared to be well into his seventies and she, some twenty or so years younger, one would naturally assume that the older person is nearer to the end of his journey in life than the younger but in reality there is no guarantee that this is going to be the case.

We have seen all too many times that some people’s journey is over prematurely. If we are in any doubt about that, all we need to do is take a visit to the nearest cemetery and you will see that the end of life’s journey has happened to some people very much earlier than others! But where did they go? Some people would have left no doubt as to where they were heading! Their lives would have given testimony to the fact that they knew where they were going and had every confidence in that fact because sometime in their life they came to understand that the Son of God died on a cross as a substitute for them personally. The Lord was the centre of their lives and because of that -

They knew that at the end of their life’s journey they would be at home with Him at last.

Isn’t that a wonderful thing: to know that all is well with your soul on account of what the Lord Jesus has already accomplished for you? Sometime in everybody’s life there comes a time when the truth of the good news Gospel message is presented to us and we must do something about the fact that Jesus is the Son of God who died to take away our sin with its consequences, its guilt and all its power. Repentance from the sin that separates us from a loving God is required of each individual in order to come into the good of all that He has purposed for those who have trusted in His beloved Son.

This rather reminds me of when God delivered the Children of Israel from the hands and rule of the wicked Pharaoh. After a number of unforgettable events leading up to the moment when he at last let God’s people go, they finally left the land of Egypt never to return. They were off to a land that was promised to them by God Himself and He was going to take care of their every need while they journeyed – and so He did! Unfortunately because of their unbelief they never came into the all good of what God intended for them and all that generation died wandering around in the wilderness. It was the next generation that had the privilege of entering into the ‘Promised Land.’ However God was faithful and took care of their every need and the needs of the next generation because He promised He would never leave them and He would always be with them, and so He was!

We like the children of Israel are also on a journey; it is a journey through life. The journey for some is shorter than it may be for others. But every life has a beginning and every life has an end.

But the question is: “Where are you going to be at the end of your journey?”

Those of us who have already trusted in Him, whatever stage we are in our life’s journey, already know the faithful companionship of the living God in our lives and can testify to the fact that He is indeed faithful to His manifold promises. Even as we look back over a year that has so quickly passed us by we know that He has always been there; even in those times when perhaps we might felt like we were alone. If He has promised: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” then He will always be true to His Word.

The beautiful promise from the book of Isaiah is something for you to treasure and take with you into the unknown territory of this year ahead:

"Even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you:
I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."
Isaiah 46: 4

"I will bear” & “I will carry"

When we carefully read these beautiful words I see four little statements standing out, two of which cause me to think of the Shepherd qualities of the character of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

"I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself."
Exodus 19: 4.

And the Prophet Isaiah speaking of God:

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd:
he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them in his bosom,
and shall gently lead those that are with young."
Isaiah 40: 11.

This our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the One in whom we all can safely trust; for it has been reliably said that: “He is sufficient for the whole journey of life.” And we know that to be true; for “the Divine Shepherd is none other than the Mighty Creator.” (J.M.Riddle)

My mind goes back to the God’s words to Moses concerning the children of Israel who had been rescued from Pharaoh's tyranny.