Another year has sped by at amazing speed. Time certainly flies—more so as I get older (and the more I fly!). Early October already marks the introduction of Christmas decorations in malls and shopping outlets, yet most of the world hurries on, forgetting that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” How is it with you and me?

As busy health workers, we are totally occupied and engrossed as we daily encounter the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of people. We are so deeply engaged that we ourselves become physically and emotionally exhausted, even spiritually jaded. Jesus foresaw this scenario; this is why He invited the disciples to “come ye yourselves apart and rest awhile.” We should strive to do this daily as we rest from our works and are immersed in His righteousness and healing. My prayer is that you will make such an opportunity every day: before, during, and after any festive season.

I would like to thank you for your untiring ministry to a world in need. Thank you for being His hands to touch lives and alleviate suffering. The recipients of your care and efforts are drawn into a tangible understanding of the love of Jesus through your life. As you move into 2018, with its uncharted terrain, challenges, and your personal resolutions, may you be ever encouraged by God’s promises. He has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5, NIV) and “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (verse 8).

On behalf of the General Conference Adventist Health Ministries team, I pray for each one of you what is summarized in this beautiful hymn:

“Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be / In working or in waiting, another year with Thee; / Another year of progress, another year of praise, / Another year of proving thy presence all the days.

“Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace, / another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face; / Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast; / Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

“Another year of service, of witness for Thy love, / Another year of training for holier work above; / Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be / On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.” 1

Let us move forward in confidence, and, empowered by His Spirit, embrace the world’s brokenness through comprehensive health ministry, sharing wholeness, serving all, and with every member engaged and involved. The intensity and frequency of daily events and catastrophes, not to mention the relentless thrust to exclude God from government and society, leave us in no doubt that we are indeed living in “grand and awful times.” But we have hope, “hope in the coming of the Lord.”

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

1 Frances Ridley Havergal, “Another Year is Dawning,” 1874.

Peter Landless, MB, BCh, MMed, FCP (SA), FACC, FASNC, Director of Health Ministries for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.