Monday, December 31, 2012

I Have to Work New Year's Eve

Broken promises, they sit and fester in your gully like cheap Chinese take-out with a “C” restaurant rating.  It doesn’t matter if you stand up, lay down, go for a walk, your churning stomach stands as a reminder of the broken promises.

I have to work tonight, New Year’s Eve, because “people changed their mind”.  Not that I had big plans, it was more the thought of working on New Year’s Eve.  A night when most of the civilized world takes a break from their job to celebrate the year past and embraces the hopes for the year to come. 

Working tonight has been a bit of a sore spot because of a broken promise.  I was reminded of a few great verses in a sermon,  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside ever weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:1-2 

Those are fantastic verses, especially to start the new year, but what does that have to do with working tonight?  It’s the first word of the verse, “therefore”, what’s it there for?  In order to find out, you have to look back into Hebrews 11.  The last two verses of chapter 11 say, “And all these [the heroes of faith], though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” [emphasis mine].

The heroes of faith were given a promise but did not see it fulfilled.  Not a broken promise, but a promise that had a future fulfillment date, past their life span.  A promise that you don’t see fulfilled can be a tough as a broken promise.  Yet we have role models of faith like Abel, Enoch and Abraham that “died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted the from afar . . . but as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.” 11:13, 16

Ahhhh, there it is, their faith kept them focused on the end result, not the years of waiting for fulfillment.  They believed something greater, something grandeur waited for them after death. We have a promise of a perfect home, an eternal home where broken promises will not exist and all God-given promises will be fulfilled.  It is so easy to forget the eternal perspective in the midst of weekly bills, difficult relationships, our jobs (or lack of one), helping kids with homework, fixing the car and broken promises.  But God says, walk by faith, trust in Me, remember that I am preparing a great place for you where working on New Year’s Eve will not matter.  Happy New Year!

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