The Promise of New Year
I’m going to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Don’t
you see it? -Isaiah 43:19
On New Year’s Day, I turned over a new leaf—literally.
I had been reading from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest, a
collection of short devotionals for each day of the year. As the year
drew to a close, I was accustomed to flipping to the back of the book
for my daily inspiration.
On January 1st, I realized with a start it was time to turn the book
over and begin again at the front. I was excited to retrace my steps
through the volume and its wisdom. Perhaps I would discover some
things I missed last time.
The beginning of a new year always manages to catch me off guard one
way or another—like when I have to remember to date my checks
correctly. What surprises me most, though, is how much I need it.
Those last few days of December inevitably send me into some
post-holiday funk. I’m sad the celebrations are over, and overwhelmed
at the thought of putting away so much Christmas cheer.
But then New Year’s Day faithfully appears, and with it the prospect
of new beginnings and new possibilities. It’s such a hopeful little
“Maybe this will be the year I finally (fill in the blank with
whatever I failed to accomplish last year).”
This particular winter, the incompletions and disappointments of the
past weighed especially heavy. I felt worn out and stale, emptied of
energy and inspiration. Barely going through the motions as wife,
mother and homemaker, I was sure I’d become the dreaded “slacker mom.”
I pictured myself continuing to shuffle drearily through life,
struggling just to put one foot in front of the other.
I needed something new.
Thankfully, New Year’s Day is nothing if not a holiday for fresh
starts. So January 1 found my husband and me enjoying a leisurely
morning in our bedroom, all our children occupied elsewhere. We
discussed our hopes and plans for the coming year, recommitting to
past goals and defining some new ones. Before we knew it, we had spent
half the day in our pajamas sitting cross-legged on the bed,
envisioning our future.
This simple act of “waking up” to the New Year was all it took to
shake off the lethargic stupor I’d been in for so many months. Not
only was I encouraged, I was expectant. I was reinvigorated and ready
for action—even if I didn’t get dressed right away!
What a splendid job our Creator did, designing the cycles of time to
refresh us at consistent intervals. “In the beginning” he established
mornings, seasons and the Sabbath—regular reminders for us to pause
and start over. Left to ourselves, we might never know when to begin
again. Maybe we would just go on and on until we dropped, shuffling
drearily and hopelessly through life.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. –Isaiah
Eternal God knows his people are bound to wear out and fall down, mess
up and miss out. As the author of renewal, he appreciates our need for
a fresh start.
And he loves us enough to provide something infinitely more refreshing
than the seasons or the Sabbath. He gave us Someone completely new—He
offers us a Savior.
Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten,
and everything is new. - II Corinthians 5:17, NLT
And the one sitting on the throne said, “See, I am making all things
new!” –Revelation 21:5
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