As another new year begins, I have stayed clear of trying to jot down a few resolutions or even sub-consciously listing any. We know how well that usually goes. But somehow, even after the initial excitement and revelry of the New Year died down, my heart still feels alive with immense hope and an eager anticipation for something beautiful and exciting to happen. Like a little child waiting to open her birthday or Christmas present or a young woman looking forward to meeting her beloved after a separation.
I can’t really put a finger on it, but perhaps its the endless possibility of what God would bring to pass this year - enriching experiences, tough learnings, fun friendships, friends getting married or having babies, relationships growing deeper, exciting opportunities, new plans or some great adventure. I am sure there are others who feel similarly, but whatever it may be, I feel it reflects our innate desire to see change, a change for the better.
The beginning of a new year is also a time when I look back at the year gone by and thank God and marvel at how Sovereign He has been in my life and the lives of people around me. As difficult as it is, it's a time I try and thank Him for taking me through tough times, when things didn't go too well or as I had planned. After all, there is much to learn from and in life, much character to be built.
A year is a long time - long enough to experience different levels of failures, let-downs, heartaches, sandwiched in between varied extents of thrill, encouragement and accomplishments.
Looking back I don’t remember each and every high and low but know this for sure that it was all for good. And so it is almost fitting that the year ends with Christmas when I can shift my focus back to Christ who left His glory and came down for you and me. Giving meaning to the celebration and coming together of friends and family at the end of the year.
Just as at the end of the day (or year) our highs and lows are immaterial compared to the joy of being able to celebrate Christ and His good news in our lives.
After weeks of having guests over almost every other night and the excitement over New Year’s Eve, January feels rather quiet and even dull, though definitely more relaxed. I am secretly even relieved and I wonder if I can ever keep the ‘Christmas mode’ on throughout the year. It definitely sounds like hard work and will drag me out of my cozy comfort zone but this year might be the one to give it a try.
And so as January slips in quietly through the fog, we dream and make plans for the year ahead, praying that in everything we do, we may not lose the eternal perspective yet enjoying the small joys of life. I just need to trust that the One who holds our future in His caring hands is also in control of the future of this world, as bleak as it may appear now for some of you reading this post.
Don't lose hope.
This is my prayer for you and me this year:
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" Romans 15:13
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