Most likely, you fit into one of two categories:
One, you love, love, love the blank slate of a brand-new year laid bare before you and you’ve already outlined your goals for the 365 days ahead. Or two, you’re a little fearful and possibly a little anxious about what the new year may hold and resolutions are the furthest thing from your mind because in your estimation they will never materialize, so why bother.
Perhaps surprisingly to some, I tend to lean more toward the second category. After all the excitement of the holidays, time with family and “get togethers”, I tend to feel a little blue once December 26th hits. Possibly due to the fact that when I was growing up, it meant time to take down the tree, all the decor, and very quickly getting back into “the (dreaded) groove”. Then, there’s the weather which tends to be grey and gloomy with or without snow. The days just seem to melt one into another. At this point, I’m ready for summer. Heck, skip over spring! I’m ready for longer days with more sunshine and time to be outside.
At the heart of the “post Christmas” blues, at least for me, is the fear of the unknown. I am a little afraid, if I’m being honest, of what the next year may look like; or maybe, I’m just anxious about what the Lord may require of me in the year to come. What I fail to remember, however, is that God goes before me. He’s already in my tomorrows. He gives me the grace to face whatever comes my way when I need it. No, this grace doesn’t come early or late, but right on time. In fact, when I think back to times in my life when things did look quite grim, all I can recall is that God carried me through those times. He put people in my life (I call it ‘God with skin on’), to minister to me, to help me, to encourage me; sometimes in person and sometimes in the form of a cheery card, or a meal, even a meaningful prayer. The Lord is with me. He never leaves me or forsakes me. I have to make a conscious effort to factor God into all of my days.
A very wise former co-worker of mine used to remind me that most of the things we worry about in our lives never come to pass. They don’t materialize. They don’t come to fruition. So, why do we put ourselves through the torture of buying trouble for our lives? Why do we torment ourselves with such anguish? I’ll tell you why: the enemy wants us to forget that we have the Lord Jesus Christ at our disposal. He wants to render us useless and have us while away our days wringing our hands in disbelief. We need to remember that God is on our side, as believers in Jesus Christ. If we truly put our faith and trust in Him, we have nothing to fear!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Phil. 4:6)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)