EDITOR’S LETTER—A Few Thoughts on Facing the New Year

By on January 3, 2017
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“On Christ, the Solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.” Edward Mote, 1834

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet, not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 29:29-31.

 

And just like that the old year is gone and the New Year is here. The Christmas rush is past. The decorations we couldn’t wait to pull out and enjoy are packed away until next year. There is almost a sigh of relief when life returns to normal. School children get back to their routines, and well-intentioned couch potatoes take to the local fitness establishments in record numbers.

 

Tim Tebow has a new book entitled Shaken. It’s one of several on my nightstand right now, and I would recommend it to anyone who has ever faced great disappointment, the kind that comes when the sure thing wasn’t as sure as you thought it was. Whether we are three years old or thirty years old or twice thirty, disappointment has the potential to bring out the worst in any of us!

 

The recent fallout from the Presidential election is a sad reminder of the fact that the ability to face disappointment with grace is not necessarily something that comes easily to most humans!

 

Sometimes dreams are postponed and sometimes there is a good reason to simply let go and give an unfulfilled dream a decent burial. But the same circumstance that might lead one disappointed person to bitterness leads someone else to a completely opposite emotion. There is no doubt that our strength and resilience is forged most effectively in times of adversity—but why and how?

 

Swayze Waters whose lifelong dream has been to punt in the NFL has come close several times, only to face disappointment. His story is a must-read for every young aspiring athlete, artist, musician, and person with a dream. I cannot imagine a more valuable lesson to take into one’s future than a solid sense of one’s identity that the world’s bumps and bruises will never be able to shake.

 

Helen Keller said, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” To me, that speaks of wasted time!

 

Let’s face the New Year with eyes wide open and faith in the God we trust! None of us has a crystal ball. We don’t know what 2017 holds, but we can be sure there will likely be a mix of highs and lows, joys and sorrows. Our future is less determined by the outward circumstances that affect us than by our reaction to them.

 

I don’t make a lot of New Years’ Resolutions anymore mostly because I don’t have an impressive record at keeping them. But I think if I had just one goal to strive for this year, it would be to live consistently and distinctly the words of Colossians 2:6-7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness.”

 

Mississippi Christian Living wishes you the happiest of New Years and the rich blessings of Christ’s presence and peace each and every new day.