It’s almost the new year and in our family we keep things pretty low-key. This year Joe is speaking at a camp in Texas and my oldest has gone with him, so it will be even more uneventful then normal. I don’t even stay up till midnight on New Year’s Eve, first because I am somewhat of a party-pooper and get tired early, and secondly I don’t want to start the new year off tired, dragging, and cranky. The other thing I don’t do is make resolutions.
Resolutions set one up for failure. “This year I am going to read my Bible 365 days a year”, then I miss a day in the second week of January (It would be January 1st if I were to stay up till midnight). My “resolutions” always leave me disappointed since I’m never as resolute as I want to be.
Don’t get me wrong. I do set goals for myself. And I clearly need to repent. But I just know that change generally doesn’t happen overnight, and January 1st isn’t going to be wildly different from December 31st. Change, sanctification, takes time. It is slow and we often don’t realize change has taken place until we look back after a few months or a year or longer.
No matter how much I plan out 2014 the new year will hold unexpected things. Things for which I will need a strong faith in God’s good providence. I will need a steadfast heart and wisdom. What will hold me steady? What will give me hope? It is this: That Jesus is always the same.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!" Hebrews 13:8
People in our lives leave, change, or pass away, but Jesus never takes his eyes off of us. He is with us always.
Our lives are often unsteady, chaotic, and filled with storms, but Jesus is the Steady One, holding out his strong hand to help us. He never gets tired and is always in control.
In our sadness he comforts us. He never grows cold or uncaring.
In our sinning he is forgiving, never condemning, for he has fully atoned for our transgressions.
In our ignorance he is willing to teach us, causing us to grow in wisdom.
In our waywardness he is our bridegroom who is sure to come after us to bring us back to himself.
Because Jesus never changes we can move into the new year with confidence. Because Jesus is always in control we know for sure that all things in our lives have been placed there for our good. Because Jesus is always loving we know that whatever may happen this coming year, he is not cruel, but kind.
We all enter 2014 not knowing what lies ahead, but God does. He sees the beginning and the end so remember this from John Newton.
“You are in the wise and merciful hands of One who prescribes for you with unerring wisdom, and has unspeakably more tenderness than can be found in all human hearts taken together!”
- John Newton
Happy New Year!