Goodbye 2006, Hello 2007

Part of my church Family at Bible Camp 2006 (Penang)
I was supposed to see in the new year at a friend’s home with a gathering of close friends. Instead, all of us were at another house just a block away, attending a wake and memorial service. Later today, on the second day of 2007, I will be attending a funeral.At 8.00 am on New Year’s Eve, a good church friend, Luan, passed away to be with the Lord. This was at the end of an 8 month battle with cancer which caused her much pain especially towards the end. Luan leaves behind a loving husband and two children in their teens. God was gracious in that her son was able to return from his studies in UK to be with his mother before she passed on. Her daughter who is very close to her mom was able to celebrate one final birthday with her mother the day before. God had been gracious and had prepared the family as much as possible to deal with the grief and sorrow of losing such a loved and loving individual. As Christians, we feel the grief of separation and loss resulting from death but have also the joyful assurance of a future reunion in heaven.

Many at Luan’s wake shared about how she had been a practical help and a spiritual inspiration to them, how she had counseled and comforted many of them; an outstanding friend and a ready servant of God. Many also were taken aback that even when she was seriously ill, she would ask if there was anything that she could pray to God for them. They also noted and shared that towards the end, she prayed not for healing but that she would remain faithful to God. I know that Luan was able to do this because she had found God to be faithful to her even as she had trusted all to him; even onto death.

Nevertheless, it would seem as if 2006 ended with a slap to the face and 2007 begins with much uncertainty, already nursing a bruise. There are certainly many things going on in my life and around me that might make me very pessimistic and depressed.

Yet, I face 2007 with confidence and peace because I have a personal experience of a loving and faithful God and just as Luan, I have trusted him with my all. For this coming year, I would wish for you, dear friends, the same.

“I could wish you joy and peace,
To last your whole life long.
I could wish you sunshine,
or a cheerful little song.
Or wish you all the happiness,
That this life could bring.
I could wish you leaves of gold,
And may your path be smooth.
I could wish you treasures,
Or that all your dreams come true.
And I could wish you paradise,
That every day be spring.

But I wish you Jesus
More than anything.
Cause when I wish you Jesus,
I’ve wished you everything.”
Have a very blessed 2007.

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