“I’m not ready!”
My little daughter is looking around frantically for the party popper I have given her to welcome in the new year. (Well, it’s not technically midnight because she’s only 5… but she doesn’t know that.) The mock countdown we are streaming from Netflix has already started, and she’s beginning to panic. Yet despite her best efforts to delay it, there’s nothing she can do to change the fact that time continues its relentless march. And, whether she’s ready for it or not, eventually the clocks will change and the calendar will turn the page.
I wonder how many of us feel the same way this season. As we clink our glasses and ring in the new year, there is often an air of celebration and anticipation as we look forward to a fresh new start. For others, however, this unavoidable march into the unknown is a reluctant one, inspiring trepidation and even fear.
Yet while we may not feel fully ready for everything 2023 has in store for us, and would rather have just a bit more time to get all our ducks in a row, we can be assured of one thing: We will not face it alone. In fact, God not only walks with us through it but has gone ahead of us, preparing the way, and our hearts, for the road ahead.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you,” we read in Deuteronomy 31:8, “he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (NIV).
God is the Author of time—and the stories of our lives that exist within its pages. We can, therefore, trust in His superior penmanship over our messy scribbles every time. Every new chapter may bring its own plot twists, but there is also the assurance that our ending is already written—and it’s a good one (1 John 5:13).
So let’s surrender each day forward to the only One who knows how it will all turn out—and can equip us accordingly. Let our past testify to the faithfulness of the God who has not abandoned us thus far and look ahead with the confidence of those who know their future is secure is Him. And let all our days in between be lived with joyful gratitude for the grace that is ours to pour out on others and the mercies that come with the light of each new dawn.
The year ahead may be an unknown entity but our God is not. So this day, like every other, let’s cling to the hope that is ours to claim and walk into each tomorrow unafraid.