What Can I Expect in a New Year?

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2013 is gone, and a new year has arrived.  Some of us didn’t want this past year to end. It was full of life changing events we’d like to experience over and over again if we could.  For others, it was year we’d like to quickly forget, full of disappointment, frustration, and heartache.

For most of us, we find ourselves somewhere in between.  There were some really good things that happened, and there were some really hard things that happened.  New friendships were formed, and we said goodbye to others we cared about.  Some days we felt full of meaning, other days we felt lost in the messiness of it all. Some days we laughed, some days we cried, and other days we didn’t know what to feel.  Some days we relaxed over good meals with old friends, other days we stressed out over bleak finances and a struggling bank account. 

Whatever happened, the year is over.  And now, as a new year opens up before us, many of us are asking the question – what can I really expect in 2014?  What can I expect in my marriage?  With my kids?  With my job?  With my health?  What does a new year have in store for us?

One passage in particular gives me reason to hope in this upcoming year:

              The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; 

                       his mercies never come to an end; 

              they are new every morning;  

                        great is your faithfulness.

              “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in him.”

             (Lam. 3:22-23)

 

At the end of the day, and at the end of the year, I can expect God to be faithful.  I can expect him to be relentlessly committed to my good and to the good of his people.  I can expect to find new evidences of his mercy every morning I wake up.  I can expect him to never give up on me, no matter how many times I mess up.  I can expect to see God’s faithfulness in countless ways, but most clearly in the giving of Jesus – the perfect manifestation of God’s enduring commitment to the people he loves. 

Yes, I will get sick.  Yes, I will make mistakes in my marriage. Yes, those I care about will struggle.  Yes, parenting will be challenging.  Yes, work will be difficult.  Yes, I will be tired.  Yes, there will times it will seem as if God is not good, not present, and not to be trusted.

But underneath all of these experiences,  deep down I know there is a greater story at work.  It is a story of a God who is using all of life (the beautiful and the broken) to accomplish his work of rescue and renewal.

I can expect God to continue that work in 2014, and I’m thankful to be a part of his better story.

 

*Special thanks to my friend & pastor Don Aldin, who preached a great sermon on God’s enduring faithfulness, helping bring these ideas home for me in a new way.