Starting a new year always brings reflection and anticipation, memory and foresight. Here in mid-January, as the buzz of New Years’ resolutions quiets (or disappears altogether!), the year ahead can seem daunting, a blend of uncertainty and excitement.
Looking ahead to a new year can be one of those things that keeps us up at night - job, relationships, money, contentment (or lack thereof) burdens our already busy and wearied selves.
And this is okay. Or, at least it’s important to honestly face.
Psalm 77 speaks of this restlessness:
“I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted” (vv. 1-2)
Restlessness can and should direct our relationship with God. In the Bible, worship is honest whatever the situation. So it should be for us.
Perhaps you need to ask, then, what’s daunting in the year ahead? (i.e. what keeps you up at night?)
But lest we get stuck in despair, like the Psalmist we need to think beyond the stress and uncertainty even in the midst of it. We need to remember the bigger picture of our lives.
“I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds” (vv. 11-12).
So easily we forget the past. We forget the stories of God’s faithfulness, where uncertainty switched to clarity beyond anything we could have imagined. Sickness gone. A relationship restored. A new job. In these past times we remember how God’s presence was tangible - thankfulness came easy, natural. Such remembering can bring hope to an uncertain future.
We need to remember. A good memory helps us move forward.
So, consider this January - with a full year in view - what do you need to remember?