The turning of the calendar to a new month and a new year, brings with it a myriad of emotions. Many face excitement or dread, depending on the kind of year we’ve just gone through.
For a lot of us, we simply existed this past year, living day-to-day, only recalling what the year was like when our memories are jogged by the latest highlight reel of 2016 happenings.
This election year was a harsh reminder of the wide divide throughout our country, separating even the closest of friends. As we prepare to welcome our new President-elect, those divides are magnifying exponentially, causing tensions to mount as we look towards 2017 with much skepticism or wide-spread fear.
Those “In Memoriam” videos remind us of those lost we lost this past year, who, for the most part, we’ve quickly forgotten. Those recaps remind us that life is short and that death comes to us all — celebrity, VIP or average Joe.
This new year promises to hold much of the same: some heartache, some joys, births, weddings, elections and of course — death. That much is certain. Regardless of WHAT happens each year, we all end up going the way of our ancestors before us, no matter our religious beliefs.
The most profound thing I read this past week with regards to the most recent celebrity deaths was a statement by Franklin Graham. The world-renowned pastor stated: “From the unknown to the most well-known, we all have something in common — death. Our time on earth is brief — the Bible says like “a vapor.” And each of us will stand before Almighty God to give an account. The decision that will determine where we spend eternity is whether we have believed in His Son, Jesus Christ, trusting Him as our Savior and following Him as Lord. There are no VIP passes or exceptions. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).”
There are those who will simply shake their heads and tell us they don’t believe in life after death; heaven or hell, God or Satan – and if they are right, then no worries. But suppose they are wrong and there really is an afterlife and that God is real? If that is the case … there are no celebrity entrances or back doors into Heaven.
Yes, the future can seem daunting, fearful or worrisome – but as for me, I prefer to look to the future the same way I look at the past. With eyes focused on Jesus, trusting Him one day at a time. I believe He will direct my paths and keep me on the straight and narrow. I trust the Lord to correct me when I screw up; to comfort me when I feel down or isolated; to love me whether I feel as though I deserve it or not; to give me peace when I’m surrounded by chaos and to walk beside me day after day … month after month … year after year.
The New Year will be what we make of it depending on our attitudes and our level of faith in our Heavenly Creator. My attitude for 2017? May there be peace on earth as we trust the Lord Jesus to reign supreme and take control of the madness.
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)
Wishing you a happy, joyful and prosperous New Year, and as always … HAPPY READING!
Blessings in Christ,