I love them that love Me and those that seek Me early shall find me.

                                                                                                                           Proverbs 8:17 

 A pier is a platform from which we look out to new possibilities.  Piers are beginnings; places where we stand at the edge of something that usually finds us expectant of a particular outcome.  Among our pier-time beginnings are first days of school, weddings, graduations, new homes, whimsical days of summer and new jobs.  What is also there but hidden when we stand at these beginnings is the breadth of experience in them such as joys, memories, and accomplishments.  This may include sad episodes and sad conclusions.  A hopeful beginning may result in the loss of something due to natural fulfillment or a sudden death, divorce, illness, or storm.    When we stand at the beginnings we cannot see what is ahead.  God can.  He knows the entire length of our lives and every second of our lives.  He knows what will become of our beginnings.  This is why we are encouraged to seek out Jesus at the beginning of all our endeavors.  He will be the constant on which to depend no matter how a beginning unfolds or concludes. 

 In late October of 2012 Hurricane Sandy made landfall on New Jersey and ravaged the coastline of the JerseyShore.  Sandy’s wrath extended to New York City, the surrounding region and many states in the northeast quadrant of the United States.  Flooding, destruction, and loss came and swept away life for many as it was known.  People stood in shock when wind and wave calmed and daylight revealed the enormity of the devastation.  The hurricane was gone; loss and grief were left. Hope in Jesus remains.

 Our lives will know loss.  We can count on it.  Loss is part of the human experience.  Whether loss comes via traumatic events or planned departures, loss comes.  Of course dramatic events are far more challenging.  Hurricanes, blizzards, expected or unexpected illness, death, fire, flood, income loss, and terrorism, reveal that human life is fragile and susceptible to changes which include nature’s fury and circumstantial shifts.  We do indeed live on the grace and mercy of God.  Daily.  However, when we experience loss, of any kind, hope in God’s Son, Jesus, offers steady strength and companionship that is secure and unchanging.  The Creator of all knows everything we will face before it happens.  Therefore, a secure faith in Jesus will anchor us so we can face loss and transition with Him at our side.  To trust our lives and the lives of those we love to anything but Jesus is to have a weak inner foundation that will wobble or even collapse.  But placing trust in Jesus is to live on a sturdy foundation that allows us to begin again when life’s trials and tragedies meet us.

 Hope may be weak for you or someone you know due to Hurricane Sandy or another event in life that has shaken physical and/or spiritual moorings.  Know that Jesus is strong.  His hope for you is real and vital.  Lean on Him.  Jesus came to the world so that we would not be alone at any time in our lives but particularly in the times that challenge us.  When we stand out on the piers of our lives at a beginning, Jesus stands with us.  But we must consciously look to Him and desire His presence in order to be mindful of His love and strength at a beginning as well as throughout a new experience.  He will accompany us, come what may.  

Even if piers and plans crumble and bring us to new unexpected views, He is there.  We can trust Jesus.  He is at our side. We can trust His strength to be our firm foundation and believe that there is still good ahead.  All because of Jesus.  Investing time in prayer and reading the Bible are ways that the Holy Spirit speaks and moves to bring comfort and guidance.  These are ways that keep Jesus close.  Wherever you stand today in your life, look at Jesus.  Seek Him early in the thoughts of your days and the plans of your life.  His eyes are fixed on you.  He is loving, attentive, and trustworthy.  Jesus will lead the way forward by His love.  Trust Him in your every step based on His unchanging heart and complete ways explained in the Bible.  With Him, hope is clear and near.  Hope on.

 Lord Jesus, life’s changes can be abrupt or known.  It is difficult when we face these human challenges.  But You, Lord, are our strength.  With You and by Your abiding grace we live our lives.  Help us, Lord Jesus, to build our lives with You by seeking You first. You are the only firm and lasting foundation.  We shall seek You early in thought,  prayer, and reading the Bible for strength, encouragement, and reminders of Your great love.   You promised to be with us always.  In You alone, Jesus, we place our hope.  Amen.