“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
The town of Val-Jalbert, Quebec, was founded in 1901 near Chambord. Once a site of opportunity, the entire village was abandoned a few years after the town’s pulp mill closed in 1927. Now a registered heritage site, visitors can explore the town’s original buildings, including the papermill, as well as visit the nearby Ouiatchouan Falls, which are higher than Niagara Falls. With over 70 original abandoned buildings, Val-Jalbert has been described as the best-preserved ghost town in Canada.
Our lives are marked by the movement of time. None of us can avoid this. We stand at the beginning of another year, so aware of the relentlessness of time. How we wish we could look ahead to prepare ourselves for all that is going to take place this year. But time doesn’t work like that. We live in the never-ending present, formed by what has happened in the past, ever aware that the future is not ours to control. For many, the unknown future is a frightening place. But not for the follower of Jesus. Deuteronomy 31:8 says: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” What a wonderful mystery. The God whom we have come to know through Jesus has already gone ahead of us into the future while at the same time is with us in the present. He is already Lord of 2023, marking the path for our future. The God who is outside of time changes our past, governs our future and is with us in the present. We are not abandoned. We are not forsaken. He is with us.
These have been words from the heart.