With my time at St. Andrew’s coming to an end and retirement looming, a number of people have asked me about my plans for the future. My responses have been rather sketchy because at this point, I have few. Beyond my intention of returning to live in the house in Coburn that my father built (at the age of 23) and visiting my children and grandchildren, I don’t yet have many concrete ideas for how spending the rest of my days. While I’d like to be able to peer into the future and see what might lie ahead, my prophetic powers are not that keen.  It’s a bit like when I was a kid and I kept turning over my sister’s Magic 8 and the same answer popped up: “Future hazy – try again later”.

Of course, regardless of our age or stage in life, we’re all in the same boat. Experience teaches us that no matter what road we may be on, there are sure to be some unexpected detours and turns along the way. The world is such that both good and bad things can take us by surprise.  As someone once said, the future always seems uncertain, because it is.

As followers of Christ, we have no more ability to see down the road ahead than do unbelievers. While the Bible gives us a glimpse of what things will be like when we reach the other side of eternity, information about what our lives will hold on this side are few and lacking in detail (folks making predictions about the day and time the world will end notwithstanding!). As Paul says, in this life we still “see through a glass darkly.” There are a few things, however, that God’s Word assures us that we can be certain of, no matter where the long and winding road may lead.

For example, we know that no matter what the future may hold, God will be walking alongside of us. As I’ve mentioned in worship several times, the promise that the Scriptures mentions most frequently is that come what may, God will be with us – He will never leave or forsake us.

We also know that we can count on God being our refuge and helper no matter what difficult patches of terrain we encounter. Just as He has seen us through all the events in our lives thus far—financial difficulties, major decisions, job and location changes, broken hearts, disappointments, illness, and so on—in the same way God will be there to help us (even carry us, if need be) through all the ones that yet lie ahead. Though there may be pain and struggles and challenges on the road ahead, God will continue to provide for and see us safely through.

Most importantly, we know that while we may not know the path that will take us there, God has disclosed what our ultimate destination is.  As I John says, “What we will be is not yet clear, but we do know this.  When He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.”  At the end of this uncertain and unknown journey, Jesus is waiting for us. We shall see Him face to face. And seeing Him, we will be transformed into His image. As difficult as it is to imagine or comprehend, we will be like Jesus!

Which to my way of thinking is a pretty fantastic final destination. And a mighty good plan for all of our futures!

Pastor Michael

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