Psalm 127:1-2 (ESV)
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
The New Year is just around the corner.
If only we had the ability to make a definite promise of something that will -- or will not – happen in the New Year.
Of course, that doesn't mean people won't try to predict what their tomorrows might hold.
Over 200 years ago, off the coast of Plymouth, England, a lighthouse was built to warn oncoming ships of the dangerous reefs. The architect of the lighthouse, a fellow by the name of Winstanley was absolutely convinced this lighthouse could survive any storm or wave that might come its way.
Indeed, Mr. Winstanley was so sure his creation could handle the future that he had these words carved on the cornerstone: "BLOW, O YE WINDS! RISE, O OCEAN! BREAK FORTH, YE ELEMENTS, AND TRY MY WORK!"
To make a long story short, the winds did blow, the oceans did rise, and the work of the lighthouse was tried.
The lighthouse was tried and found wanting. In took less than three years for it to be reduced to a pile of rubble and swept away.
Even though Winstanley's lighthouse was gone, the ships still needed a warning. John Smeaton, a Christian engineer, was asked to redesign and rebuild the light of warning. He did. And when he was finished, the cornerstone read, "Except the Lord Build the House, They Labor in Vain that Build It." For many years that lighthouse has stood every test.
Now I don't know what wind and wave will come crashing down on you us 2016. I do know this: if you try to stand on your own, trusting in your own wisdom and ability, you will go down like Winstanley's lighthouse. On the other hand, if every day of this new year is founded on the Savior who gave His life for our salvation, you will be able to stand as a witness to Jesus; you will be able to withstand the storms and waves.
Which will, my friends, make 2016 a very good year!