by Annette Bridges. © 2006. All rights reserved.

Are you beginning the New Year with confidence and expectation or with dread and trepidation?

Certainly last year humanity struggled with wrenching challenges – tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, bombings, shocking terrorist acts. It surely does not make for a Happy New Year to start it with worries about what catastrophe will happen next in the world or in your own life.

I’ve become preoccupied lately with uncertainties in my life and anticipation of unwelcome changes in the future.

Recently, I came across a statement of promise written by Mary Baker Eddy in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

“The divine Love, which made harmless the poisonous viper, which delivered men from the boiling oil, from the fiery furnace, from the jaws of the lion, can heal the sick in every age and triumph over sin and death.”

These words prompted me to read again one of my favorite Biblical stories about Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego when King Nebuchadnezzar ordered them cast into a fiery furnace for disobeying his orders. (Daniel – Chapter 3)

I’ve always been in such awe of this account. How even though they were bound and thrown into this fiery furnace, their lives were not destroyed. In fact, not only did they survive, the Bible says, “nor the smell of fire had passed on them.”

And they were not alone “walking in the midst of the fire”. When the King peered into the furnace, he saw four men and said the fourth was “like the son of God.”

In discussing this with a friend, she pointed out that they didn’t have to be pulled out of the fire to be saved. They were saved while in the midst of the fire. And the Christ remained in the fiery furnace with them walking by their side.

Pondering this Biblical story has brought me reassurance. It’s very comforting to know that no matter what situation I may face in the New Year, the Christ will be with me caring for me, protecting me, nurturing me, strengthening me. And I know this is true for everyone, too.

And this reassurance is increasing my confidence in a loving and all-powerful God that can conquer evil in whatever form it may appear. And encourages me to view the New Year through His eyes

Seeing through His eyes is giving me a different view than that of doom and gloom, illness and death. His vision is only that of the perfection and goodness He made.

Whether His children are walking in a fiery furnace or peacefully by the sea side, His beholds only His beloved children whom He will always care for. His sight never wearies or dims. His perception never changes. His outlook is hope-filled and joyous.

Such a view is helping me replace the New Year blues with an expectancy for a New Year of progress, restoration and healing.