It’s nearing five o’clock on New Year’s Eve, 2018’s last few grains falling through the hourglass. The sun is down, its glow but a hint on the horizon. The next day to dawn will be 2019. Just another number, I suppose, but don’t we feel the weight of that change, that single rolling over of an 8 to a 9? Our natural tendency is to look back over the previous 364 days and evaluate them, to weigh successes and failures, achievements and regrets.
What of our failures and regrets? Is there anything to be done in the next seven hours to rectify or resolve them? Probably not. So, will we carry them forward into the new year, or will be lay aside that which cannot be changed and look to the future and its possibilities? The prophet Jeremiah spoke of God in this way: “His mercies are new every morning.” Today may have been a dumpster fire, but tomorrow God greets us with us new mercy, a fresh start, a new beginning.
In the 103rd Psalm, the psalmist writes of God, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” What a wonderful promise! We don’t need to carry around those things for which we’ve been forgiven. We don’t need to bludgeon ourselves with our failures and regrets. There is always hope for those who walk with God.
As we’re on the cusp of a new year, will you look back in despair or forward in hope? Will you look at yourself with judgment or with grace? Will you see yourself through your own eyes, or through the eyes of God who loves you enough to die for you? Will you take advantage of His new mercies?