We have closed the chapter on one year of our life story and are ready to begin a new one. Wow! The possibilities that are ahead; the adventures; the surprises; the “I didn’t see that one coming” and the blessings. As a Christian, I know intellectually that God is in control. Sometimes as a human, I am challenged to connect that with my emotions, my heart, and embrace with full belief. As humans, after all, we do want to be in control! There are two things in life that we can depend on (as humans): change and uncertainty.
Music is the universal language and stirs the soul. One of my favorite songs of all time is the Ira F. Stanphill’s 1950 hymn I Know Who Holds Tomorrow. My Mother tells me it was my first solo at age 6 in Fairfield, Texas. Perhaps that planted the seed for loving this great hymn that as one writer defines it, “melds the delicate lyrics of contemplation with a soft melody that grows in strength and truth.” Through the years as I have grown and experienced life, it remains one of those “anchor” songs for me as I now appreciate it from a different perspective. The words of this great hymn remind me that as much as I want to have it all figured out in advance, that is unrealistic. Life is about trial and error and learning from hindsight.
As we begin this new year, I offer three R’s for pondering: review, reboot, rejoice.
- REVIEW last year. Keep in mind a review is a high-level perspective not a day by day detailed analysis. Consider the highlights of the year, including the “good, the bad and the ugly.” Recall how you experienced God’s presence with each highlight and identify some key life lessons gleaned from those experience.
- REBOOT the core essentials of your life that may have been side lined or covered up because life got too busy, too intense, too painful. Visit what you reviewed and how you experienced God throughout last year. Reflect on this phrase of Ira’s hymn: I don’t worry o’er the future, For I know what Jesus said. And today I’ll walk beside Him, For He knows what is ahead.
- REJOICE and celebrate the completion of one year and the opportunity to begin a new year! Rejoice in the fact that God still reigns! Rejoice in the opportunity to build on lessons learned from last year. Rejoice in the fact that each of us has control over the choices we make. Consider creating a MY REJOICE list and reflect on God’s strength and guidance in your life. Reflect on Zephaniah 3:17: The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
However you have chosen to begin this new year, remember the closing phrase of Ira F. Stanphill’s hymn….Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand, But I know who holds tomorrow And I know who holds my hand. I don’t know what is ahead this year. However I take great comfort and strength knowing that my God does! I look forward to experiencing this new year with Him by my side.
Until Next Time,