Five. Four. Three. Two. One (and the crowd goes wild!). Perhaps you chose to spend your new year’s eve asleep only to be woken up by the influx of messages wishing you a happy new year (or maybe your alarm clock did the job!). That’s okay. I hope the holidays were a time of laughter, loved ones and reflection.
As December approaches I often feel a sense of calm relief and nervous trepidation. The joy of seeing the finish line, knowing that some Goliaths are dead, mixed with the weariness of the path that is now behind me paints a rather interesting paradox. 2015 definitely had its peaks, valleys and plateaus. Yet in all of this I am thankful to see, not only a new day, but a new year.
“I’ll leave it all behind me.”
Before endeavoring into the Christmas break I stepped out of my hostel and took a walk down the corridors of my school. I had just finished my exams for my psychiatric rotation and was more than ready to jolt myself into the holiday season (“oh sleep, where hast thou been!”). The clouds were ready to burst with rain as the cool breeze kissed my face. I relish the times I get to escape into my own world and simply reflect (needless to say, these walks suffice!). It being the last month (December) I stripped the year into months and the months into weeks and days, pondering on moments lived and moments endured secretly laughing within myself with the occasional sigh interjecting between each scene. I was amused by the growth I had experienced and the dreams that had conceived and given birth. I was charmed by the relationships with my family and friends that have honed themselves over the year. I was grateful for certain fears that I had overcome and the courage thereof. And yet, ironically, I was saddened. The uncomfortable confrontational mirror poised itself right in front of me. I saw parts of me that I quite frankly detested. I saw parts that had yet to grow, yet to conceive (let alone give birth!), yet to be honed and yet to be overcome. I saw stunted fragments, blunted edges and fear. I said to myself “I’ll leave it all behind me. I’ll start over.”
New year’s eve is a day of packing for many. We hoard our unwanted memories and unsolicited pasts in a box only to be haunted, again, by some of the baggage in the new year. I don’t blame you- I do the same. I look forward to the new year. I candidly, and perhaps you as well, seek the chance to start over and start afresh. We solemnly long for that white sheet of paper, un-writ and un-blotted, to write a new story once again (and this time, perhaps, with a surer happily ever after). For many the new year is a chance to re-set, re-load and release. That is great. But it does not have to be this way (or at-least for that day only). “I’ll leave it all behind me” seems to be the anthem I sing on every 31st. The words faithfully streamed through my mind once again as I strolled down the corridor. Yet, within my ponderings, God began to remind of His truth: “The LORD’s lovingkindness indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness .” The words “never cease” and “new every morning” sounded a melody I had never quite heard before. The fog that blurred my vision seemed to lift. I chuckled with liberation. Truth had won and fear had lost. No more would I have to wait for a change in the calendar or a change in time to behold a change in me. No more would I need to psyche myself up with my own self will and determination to overcome the hurdles that stand before me. No more would I wait for the 31st in order to give myself away to a God who gave Himself for me. The God of the seasons, times and years has said that His mercy towards you and me, is not only available at the brink of the new year, but forever present in July (and August, and September, and always!).
Our baggage can be unloaded before the ever gracious God at any moment in time. Each and every single second He beckons us, infusing grace and mercy in our wreckage. In Christ and in Christ alone our past, present and future are blotted away. His very Being brings light to our darkness and life to our decay. In Him both you and I can confidently face today because of His unfailing mercy. His faithfulness shields us from our unfaithfulness. His love protects us from our hate. His grace covers our failures and weaknesses and builds character and holiness. This Jesus that I speak of lives today! Will you let go and trust Him?
“The LORD’s lovingkindness indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness”
So here is to another year, another day and another moment. Here is to another peak, and another valley and another plateau. We shall not be thrilled by the peaks nor shall we be dampened by the valleys and the dullness of each plateau. No. We shall be enthralled by the God who says He will walk right beside us at the summits, who shields us with the knowledge of Him so as to not forget the God who brought us there; we shall be enthralled by the God who carries us and shelters us, even in the dark pits and blazing fire, whispering His presence within our being as He drives out fear and despair with His warrior hand and perfect love; we shall be enthralled by the God who causes us to stand on Him, raising us up high upon His shoulders so that whether we stand, trip or fall, our landing is in Christ.
So what is in your suitcase? What skeletons seem to latch on you refusing to leave? Which shadows need light? Whatever it is, whatever it may be, He can handle it. Remember Grace. Remember Mercy. Remember God. Happy new year.
At His Feet…
- Lamentations 3:22-23 (New American Standard Bible)