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Thought for the weekend


by Craig Cooney

Last week a friend asked, "Where do you see yourself in the new year?"

I replied, "I don't know. I don't have 2020 vision."

Seriously though, the beginning of a new year is often a time of reflection and even introspection.

As you look back on the past 12 months, how would you complete this sentence: "2019 was the year that..."

Of course, there were significant national and political events, Brexit being the obvious one which dominated last year. However, when most of us reflect on 2019, we won't immediately think about the 'big' events that made the headlines.

We'll think about our own lives - the highs and lows, the joys and sorrows, the blessings and burdens - that most directly impacted us.

Almost 3,000 years ago, a young man called Isaiah reflected on the year that had just passed: "In the year that King Uzziah died…" (Isaiah 6: 1)

Uzziah had been Israel's king for 52 years. Under his rule, the nation had prospered.

Plus, he had built up a strong military which kept the powerful Assyrian King from invading. As long as Uzziah was on the throne, the people felt secure.

However, now he was gone.

Do you remember where you were when you heard Princess Diana had died? In Isaiah's day, everybody could recall the exact moment when they found out that Uzziah was dead.

It would have been devastating to them. They were inconsolable. And certainly feeling very fearful and vulnerable.

In the midst of this national crisis, Isaiah enters the temple to pray, seeking solace and comfort.

God meets him in the most powerful and profound way: "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple." (Isaiah 6: 1)

King Uzziah might be dead, but the real King was still alive and occupying His throne.

God wasn't flustered, panicking or anxious. He was seated in absolute majesty and supreme authority, ruling over His people and human history.

People needed to take their eyes off the human king they'd lost, and focus on the one true King who could protect them. Nobody knows what the next 12 months will bring. We don't need to. Because, no matter what happens personally, politically, economically or environmentally - God is still on the throne. And, if we trust in Him, we have nothing to fear.

Belfast Telegraph


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