I’m trying to think about what’s ahead in this new year and I’m drawing a blank. I’m finding that I can’t think much beyond what’s on my schedule for the coming week. I’m not finding the energy or the motivation to optimistically set goals or lay plans that will pave the way for higher levels of accomplishments this new year.
In years past, when I was younger and more career ambitious, I would spend more time planning and goal setting my way into the new year than I do now. I’m older and less Zig Ziglar like than I used to be. (Besides, I’m still surprised that the last year is over already.)
I suppose that there is one thing that gives me hope and a sense of peace about looking ahead toward 2023 and I find it in Genesis 1:1 which says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (NIV).
When I contemplate this verse, the thought occurs to me that I don’t need to worry about the coming year, because just as God had brought life from the void of the earth and he will bring life from the blank calendar in our days ahead in the year 2023.
While I know that the new year may cause some of us to be apprehensive, we can also know that whatever may befall, good or bad, we will not be alone. The Creator of time, days, and lives will not leave us. The same Lord who walked with Adam through the unexplored land of Eden will walk with us through the uncharted year ahead.
Looking ahead toward the unknown, rather than having a day-by-day explanation of all that we can expect to happen in this new year, ought to encourage us to live by faith. Faith in God is sometimes easier to hold onto as we travel through the unknown, rather than the known, because we can’t plan, prepare, or start nurturing our fear about those coming unknown events.
We would likely be more apprehensive of the year ahead if we knew the details of each of its days, but instead we have been given the opportunity to rest in God by faith. Somewhat frequently I’ll hear a family member standing by the hospital bed of a loved-one say, “I wish I had known before that I would be dealing with this tragedy now.”
Of course, none of us would handle our tragedies any better by knowing they were coming in advance. We would borrow the pain of the future to ruin a beautiful day of the present through worry and anxious expectations. The real solution is to invest our days building our relationship with the God we will need on the day of those unexpected tragedies so we can cope and hope in those times of sorrow.
The human experience includes sadness that is the outcome of loss and grief. Our lives are not promised sunny skies, warm weather, and multi-millionaire beach lifestyles. Facing the future without fear begins with facing the present in faith in God.
I have a feeling that I am not the only one who isn’t very excited about new year goals and plans, but I am wanting more of us to find hope in the God who brought life from the void of the earth because He will bring life from the uncharted days ahead.