“O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before You. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! —- Selah.

Psalm 39:4-5

2023

Today is the start of a new year. It is the Lord’s Day as I write this blog. How fitting perhaps that Christmas and the start of the new year should fall on Sunday. As we have begun this new year, I am pretty positive that we have taken the time to meditate on the events of the past year and now look to the new year ahead of us. We look to things that we might want to change and or begin. We look to a better year perhaps whereas the last year many of us faced many difficulties, many trials, and losses. We look to move forward like a soldier on the battlefield with an objective before us.

To be quiet honest, I have never been the resolution type. I think because in the past, I failed at completing those goals. I was given over to laziness, procrastination and well, just frankly gave up. I am sure that I am not alone in these failed endeavors, but as I have gotten older; I have begun to see that I am at the half way point of my life. Not only that, but whose to say that I have half of life left to live. After all, my life sits in the hand of God Himself. It is He who has established the days of my before my birth.

With the death of my father and brother in 2021. God woke me up to the brevity of life. That we are not promised this day, nor the next. I suppose that is why James, the brother of Jesus states in his letter, “…What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and than vanishes” (James 4:14). Isaiah the Prophet writes in 40:7, ” The Grass (us) withers, the flowers fade when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely people are grass”. Again, the Apostle Peter quotes Isaiah in 1 Peter 1:24a, “All the flesh is like grass, and all it’s glory like the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,”.

Lastly, Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 1:4, “A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever”. It is quiet clear that the writers of the inspired text are wanting you the reader to see that our lives are frail, like seasons, they have their time and then the leaves that were once vibrant, grow old, die and fall from to the tree to the cold ground below. The brevity of life is emphasized all through scripture. Death is inevitable and how we use our time on this earth is important. It is important because how we live our lives and who we believe in will determine our eternity.

As we embark on the unknown days of 2023, how shall we live our lives and for who? I must confess that I lived a selfish life that was governed by what I wanted, my selfishness, my pride, and my sinfulness. As I draw near to death now, that is not the life I want to live. I do regret that life that I wasted in the past and the time I took for granted. I am grateful for the Lord’s undeserving mercy on my life. I am thankful for His forbearance or else I would not be here writing this to you, the reader.

As I walk into 2023, there are some goals if you will that I pray for. What are those goals you ask? Well, for one, to love Jesus more, to love His Word more and to be so firmly planted in it. Will I do this perfectly, no. I confess that over the last two years my sight and focus was always on my flesh, my sight on the world, and the things of this world. Because of that fear, doubts, and the shadow of God’s wrath fell upon me. The fear of death haunted me to the point where I could not sleep and I was having full blown panic attacks nightly.

I can say that I am thankful for those frightful and disturbing images. Why? It caused me to looked to the only Person that could pull up out of the dark pit that I was in. No, it was not me. It is the Lord Jesus Christ alone and it is only in Him alone that I have can have true peace and true comfort and because of that, it allows me to fix, or establish a life that is dedicated to Christ in all that I do. Now, will I do those things perfectly? As I stated earlier, by no means. I have fix my gaze upon the Cross of Christ, not in myself.

So, loving the Lord more through the reading of His Word more. Prayer daily and constant communication with Him. Loving my wife as Christ loves the church, Being selfless and self sacrificing. To die to self as the Apostle says. That is my hope and prayer for 2023. I am thankful, of which I am not thankful enough. God has been so patient with me as I look to the past that I lived. He shown me great grace, mercy and love; love that do I deserve.

Our lives we made for more than just this earth, but for eternity. It is how we live this life though that will carry with us into eternity. Are we doin things for self? Or are we doing things for the Lord and His Kingdom? Do we know the Lord? Are we truly saved by His grace? If not, today is the day of Salvation, not tomorrow or a week from now, but today. Do not wait for a tomorrow that may never come. Come today.

Let us endeavor for 2023 that our actions, our words and deeds may be for the glory of God and Him alone. I pray that you, the reader consider this and the eternity that awaits us and the beauty of it. Let us display that beauty in all that we do this year.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Stephen J. Melniszyn

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