One year ago today we were looking ahead to the arrival of a new year, wondering what 2012 would bring. Well, it brought plenty:
A hurricane named “Isaac” that pummeled the Gulf coast, leaving $1 billion in damages behind.
A hurricane named “Sandy” that left over 100 people dead, 8.5 million people without power, and $20 billion in damages.
A movie theater massacre that left 12 people dead and 58 people wounded.
A terrorist attack on our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, that left 4 Americans dead, including our ambassador.
A school shooting in Connecticut that left 20 children and 6 adults dead.
A year ago today, if we’d known these events were coming, do you think we would have been celebrating the arrival of the new year? Do you think perhaps our New Year’s Eve celebrations would have lost a little of their energy?
Well, here we go again.
I don’t know what 2013 will bring, but I know that even as people are celebrating its arrival, storm clouds are on the horizon. Circumstances are converging in ways we can’t see to bring us events we would never choose. Jesus wasn’t joking when he said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” (John 16:33)
Thankfully, that’s not all he said.
Here’s the complete verse: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
As for me, I’m not excited about the arrival of a new year, I’m excited about the certainty of an old promise. I don’t know what I’ll have to face in 2013. Solomon said, “There is a time to cry and a time to laugh, a time to grieve and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4) I expect to see all of that in the months ahead. There’s only one thing I can be sure of: Jesus Christ is faithful to his promises and, for that reason, no matter what happens, I can have peace.
If you also have this assurance, that’s what you should be celebrating as another new year arrives.