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Happy 'Not Last' Year!

‘Happy New Year!’

The cynic finds it all too cliché: ‘We’ve heard that before’.

The skeptic finds it all too risk-filled: ‘Happy? The chances of disappointment are just as likely’.

The optimist finds it all too overwhelming, and has to lie down to dream of the limitless possibilities ahead!

What does ‘Happy New Year’ mean to you?

In the Biblical book of beginnings (Genesis), we get to read the beginning of each part of creation.

‘In the beginning God created…’.

What’s also worth reflecting on, is the arrangement of creating that God spread over 6 days.

Each aspect is created within a particular, and perfectly arranged order, on a specific day.

Each day of creating had to end, before the next day of creating could begin. That was part of God’s order for Creation. At the end of each day, we read these words:

‘And there was evening, and there was morning – the ‘x’ day.’

We sometimes become cynical, disillusioned or apathetic about a New Year, because we haven’t kept with God’s arrangement for creating. We allow one year to blend into the next. We assume, that because time is lineal – minute by minute, day after day, from one week to the next, that one year simply drifts into the next, without any change, without any sense of ending or beginning.

That certainly is how it works in a calendar. But Genesis calls us to look deeper.

A new year, like a new day, is a gift and an opportunity.

It wasn’t until Day 4 of creating, that God made heavenly bodies: sun, moon and stars.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.

Gen’ 1:14-15

In God’s wisdom, He didn’t create all things out of one big bang, in one instant moment. He arranged, timed, and placed things with careful order. Not only would the orbits and placements of sun, moon and earth provide a perfect balance between night and day, heat and cool, work and rest, tides and timing; we see that God gave the sun and moon to ‘be for signs and for seasons’.

That’s the wisdom of God for us.

‘And there was evening, and there was morning – the ‘x’ day.’

This arrangement and order put a LIMIT on where things belong.

Some days are just difficult, painful days – so aren’t you glad that there is an END to each day!

God gives us life, one day at a time, so there are limits to what we experience and endure. We’re not to try and live today and tomorrow, at the same time – that will produce worry and anxiety.

And we’re not to live yesterday and today at the same time – that will produce regret and sorrow.

The night time is a sign – a reminder - that we must end that day’s activity and let it go. And the dawn of each morning is a sign and marker, that yesterday has gone, and we’re in a new day, a day of fresh manna, new mercies, and unhindered hope that we will experience God’s goodness and love for today, just as He promised.

And just as God has given us days and seasons, He has also given us years as ‘signs and markers’.

At the end of every 365 days, the year ends… whether we want it to, or not. By God’s arrangement, we must farewell one year, and move into a new year. This is a boundary between one year and the next.

As we thank God for the year that has been, we acknowledge the events of 2018, but we don’t bring them into the potential of 2019. We’re not to re-live nor stay stuck in the year that has been.

How many people in our world are stuck in a rut, enslaved to the past, dragging all the problems of a former year into the potential of the next year?

God gave us years as a sign and mark to remind us that we can’t go back into 2018, and you can’t take 2018 into 2019. The beginning of a New Year is a reminder to leave the past behind, and with both hands, take hold of that which is to come.

To the victor, a New Year offers a new challenge to overcome and another victory to attain.

To the poor, a New Year offers the unlimited resource of opportunity.

To the disillusioned, a New Year offers no more allusions, but a new canvas upon which we get to create a different year.

To the apathetic, a New Year calls us to consider the blessing of what God provided in the previous year, and prepare ourselves for what He calls us to in the year ahead.

To the wise, a New Year re-sets our perspective, energises our efforts, closes the door to the past, and prepares us for that which is new.

May each January be for you, a gift to bless you, as you farewell what has been and embrace the goodness of God in what is to come.

It’s not just another year - it’s a New year. Don’t miss it!

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