Recently I’ve noticed several people commenting on how glad they are to see the year 2016 go. They can’t wait for 2017. I get it. A lot of us lost dearly loved ones in 2016. Some of us were given medical diagnosis that we wish wouldn’t have crossed the lips of the physician giving them. Some women carried their babies in their uterus only to have them be born sleeping. Children lost parents and homes in fires that were never foreseen. Husbands watched wives slip away in agony from cancer eating at their bodies. Wives said goodbye to husbands for a moment, only to have them not return home. Countries rose up in war over “religion,” and evil flooded the entire earth, causing us to question friendships, relationships, and even our faith. Yes, a lot of bad happened in 2016. Guess what? A lot of bad things happened in 2015, too. And more bad things will happen in 2017.Switching years, ringing in a new year, doesn’t mean we get to escape our past or prevent the future. A year is merely a number. To God, a year is but a minute, a second in an enormous vastness of time. Stop waiting for 2017 to “be better,” because a new year can not make your life better. Setting resolutions and making promises due to a new year is but a tradition. So, I challenge you to stop. Stop saying this year will be better, will be the best. It won’t. The only way your life is going to be better is if you get up and do something about it. New year or not, decide if you are okay living the way you are living. Are you hurting because you lost someone extremely close to you? It’s OKAY to hurt. It’s okay to be in pain. Reach out and let other’s know, so they can support you. Find a church home with members that love on you and help in times of trouble. The year 2017 will be new, as is every new year, hence the title “New Year.” New doesn’t mean better, and it doesn’t mean worse. It simply means uncharted. Today will be history tomorrow. The only time we will ever be at peace, live true happiness, and be surrounded by perfection is when Jesus Christ comes back to take us home. Now, that day, I am looking forward to. The years on this earth are fleeting. So tonight, when you’re shooting fireworks with your family, or are out with your friends, or kiss your loved one, remember: it’s just a moment in time. 2017 is coming whether we like it or not. The question is: does it really matter? Does it matter that the last digit of the year we write on our checks, papers, etc. changes? No, not really. If you’re here to begin the year 2017, you obviously have a reason to be. God doesn’t leave anything to chance; everything is already set in motion. We just have to be willing to follow His lead. 2016 didn’t cause your problems, didn’t take anyone away from you, didn’t allow something bad to happen; evil did. Evil will be here until Jesus sets up his reign on earth. Until then, we live life the best way we know how. “Leaning on the everlasting arms….”
I know bad things happened in 2016. I witnessed many myself. But the good stuff? Oh, it was plentiful! I saw babies come into this world wrapped in the glow of God’s light. I saw families reunited, and wrongs made right. I saw my children develop and mature in ways I never knew possible. I saw the pure, unconditional love of a mother giving her child to another mother to raise. I saw friendships born, and relationships formed. I saw people come to know Jesus as their Savior, and truly realize the need of salvation in their life. I saw people step up and protect the innocent, with no thought to their own safety or well being. I saw differences put aside, so families could thrive. I saw God happen. I will continue to see bad things happen, and I will continue to see good things happen. Evil exists on earth, despite what year it is. God defeats evil, though. ALWAYS. His Word says so time and time again. I trust Him.
So, have a good 2016 and a good 2017 and however many more years there are to come. See the good. Better yet, be the good.