We’ve come to the close of another year, completed another 356-day journey around the sun, and marched our way onto a new calendar. While the actual day marker of a new year is rather arbitrary since we are constantly in motion and heading towards the future each moment, as a society, we have collectively made January 1st a special day and time to celebrate. It has become a day to remember, reflect on, and learn from the past year and a moment to re-envision, reimagine, and make plans for the new one.
In many ways, I feel like 2021 has been a year of unmet expectations. So many people were hoping that COVID and its multi-layered issues would have resolved. But here we are entering 2022 with things looking about the same as it did last year. In your personal life, hopes and dreams for the year may have not been realized. Things might have looked different than you imagined or maybe your world came crashing down with the loss of a loved one, job, relationship, or dream. Or maybe your year was filled with unexpected blessings and was better than you could ever have dreamed.
Either way, we tend to enter a new year with so much hope, expectation, and excitement. But often when reality hits and we come to the other end of the calendar, there can be a gap between the expectation and reality. And depending on which direction that gap goes, the void can be filled with incredible joy or deep-seated pain. However, no matter what that gap looks in your life, the truth is that each year is rarely how we envision it on January 1st.
However, does that mean we should lose hope and forget the excitement and joy of anticipating a new year full of wonderful, happy things? Does it mean that we should nervously fear the future and what might take place over the next year? No! It just means that we should walk into the new year with a full awareness of the fact that we don’t know what the future holds.
But we can have hope because there is One who knows what each year will hold from beginning to end—God Almighty. He is the One who authored history and sets in motion the seasons and affixes their appointed times. He knows what the future holds and knows how we will respond. He knows our secret dreams and most closely held desires and sees our struggle with the gap between expectation and reality and delights to bless His children with joyful gifts.
We may not know what the next 365 days will hold, but we can be sure of one thing: God is faithful. And He is always doing a new work. He doesn’t stop nor will He leave us stagnate unless we choose to stubbornly refuse His guidance. He will walk with us through the valleys and on the mountain tops. And no matter what comes to pass in the next year, God will work it out for our good and our growth, if we let Him.
So join me in entrusting 2022 to God. Dream big, expect great things, and grow in your faith and belief that God can do the impossible, but also trust that even if the things you’re hoping for don’t come to pass, God will be faithful and will fill your year with goodness and grace.
Therefore, celebrate today and the new chapter this season brings! Don’t fear the future but trust the One who knows it beginning to end. Rejoice in all that God has done in the past and expectantly trust that He will do even greater things this coming year. And walk into 2022 with confidence, joining the psalmist in declaring this truth:
“But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand.”
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