The Christmas holidays as well as New Year's can be a time of looking back with nostalgia and, for the widow and those dealing with loss, a time of grief, even depression. But we are learning through the study of God's Word that there are principles that we can learn from the lives of those chronicled therein that can safely guide us around these minefields of life.
I am reminded of how the children of Israel responded to the miracle they had just experienced in crossing the Red Sea. The story is recorded in Exodus 14 and 15. It is a story that is familiar to most of us. The Israelites were being pursued by the Egyptians as they approached the Red Sea and, as Moses stretched forth his hand, the Lord caused the sea to part and the Israelites walked through on dry land. The Egyptians followed them, but the Lord caused confusion to overtake them and when they had gotten to the middle of the seas, Moses held out his hands and the Lord caused the waters to come together drowning all of the Egyptians as well as their horses. One can only imagine the fear that arose in the hearts of the Israelites as they saw that they were being pursued by sophisticated soldiers with strong horses and chariots and they were a group of people with old as well as babies, male and female, making them no match for the Egyptians. They were angry at Moses and God and even despaired of going on. But God assured them that he would rescue them...and he did. In chapter 15 we read of their song of praise to God for his deliverance.
There is most likely not a widow reading this who has not been through a time of confusion, grief, anger, even to the point of despairing of life, only to find that God is faithful to His Word and that He never left you comfortless in spite of the pain you endured. Now, as 2014 looms ahead of you, you can look back with gratefulness and ahead with anticipation.