Word to start 2019



December 30, 2018

Shalom mishpochah.

Tomorrow night many people will be making New Year’s Resolutions – most of which will be broken.  Yet, a new year is a time to anticipate and dream of what might be.  I am sure for most of us 2018 was a year filled with good and a year filled with challenges.  Life twists and turns and through it all we seek to find meaning and fulfillment desiring the best for ourselves and our loved ones. I want to encourage you with the promises in a couple of passages from Yeshayahu (Isaiah) as you look forward to 2019.

Yeshayahu 44.2-4

‘Don’t be afraid, Ya‘akov my servant, Yeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3  For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit on your descendants, my blessing on your offspring.
4  They will spring up among the grass like willows on the riverbanks.

Yeshayahu 58.11-12

11 Adonai will always guide you;  He will satisfy your needs in the desert, He will renew the strength in your limbs; so that you will be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.
12  You will rebuild the ancient ruins, raise foundations from ages past, and be called “Repairer of broken walls, Restorer of streets to live in.”

First, G-d encourages us not to be afraid.  Fear seeks to grip the hearts of even the strongest of us. Over 300 times in the Bible we are encouraged, “Don’t be afraid.”  How can we truly walk this out?  By understanding that G-d is with us and has chosen us.  He encourages us that He will ALWAYS guide us.  You and I may not know what 2019 holds for us, but we can know that G-d will lead us and walk beside us.  He promises that He will never leave us alone.  Even if we find ourselves in a dry desert, He assures us that He will satisfy every need we will ever have.  We do not need to be afraid of anything that comes our way or any situation we may find ourselves in.  Through the most difficult of times, He is there. When we feel weak, He will strengthen us. No matter how weary you may feel, Adonai wants to renew your strength – to invigorate you with His power that goes beyond your human ability.

In addition, these verses promise that G-d will refresh us with His Ruach.  The imagery of pouring out water on dry thirsty ground speaks of restoration and renewal.  Dry areas will be revived. What has been lifeless will now be teeming with the life of His Spirit. That life will strengthen us enabling us to rebuild and restore areas in our lives, families and communities that have been lying in ruins.

Look for new life and restoration in 2019.  Adonai desires to refresh you and strengthen you for the new things He has planned for you.


Rabbi Carol

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