I just read a great quote on a friend’s Facebook wall. It said:
“As we go forth into the coming year, let it be. . . with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return but God can transform destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.” Oswald Chambers (There’s slightly more to the quote, but this suffices)
We’ll never get it back.
In a few hours, 2017 will be in the books forever. And let’s face it: Every one of us look back at certain moments this year and wish we’d have used them better for the Lord.
Does any of the following sound familiar?
I didn’t stop to talk to that person when the Holy Spirit prompted me to.
I spoke too hastily and regretted the words I used.
I wasted time on social media or in front of the television when I could’ve been doing better things.
If none of this described you at some point in 2017, then I really admire your spirituality. But for most of us, these statements hit way too close to home.
If we look back at 2017 as a list of our failures, it’d look like a pretty bleak year. But certainly, Christian, there are good moments spiritually we can look back on. Surely there are times where we resisted temptation, listened to the Holy Spirit, guarded our tongues, etc. Surely those of us whose hope is in the God of second chances realize just how many of those second chances He gave us this year and how we did indeed take advantage of them.
Judging 2017 should be done in this light: What did God do in your life this year? Are you closer to Him now than you were when this year started? Or is there really no discernable difference? Are you heading into 2018 with any new souls won for Christ? Have you watched God noticeably work in your life? This should be the measure of your year. And I hope that, even with its failures and struggles, you can look back on 2017 as a success.
If you honestly can’t see it that way, read that quote again and realize where our hope truly lies and Who is stepping with us into the future. And resolve that, this time next year, you’ll be able to answer yes to those questions.
We can’t change anything about this past year, but we have a clean slate next year (Which, by the way, I plan to publish a post about tomorrow!). Change won’t come just because a date on the calendar switches, but there is something fresh and exciting about a new year, isn’t there? New beginnings and fresh starts. A chance to have the best year of your life to-date.
Let’s make the most of it for the Lord.
Goodbye, 2017. Welcome, 2018!