It's New Year's Eve, and I find my thoughts are taking a different turn than they usually do.
Normally, I would grouch about the futility of resolutions or the exhaustion of having to stay up till (GOD FORBID) midnight, or the irritation of Christmas decorations that will become unacceptable to display once the calendar year changes.
And, if the news and Facebook and many people I know are to be believed, the year 2016 has packed quite the crap-filled punch, certainly worthy of some ranting and griping and good old fashioned mud-slinging.
We did have a nasty election season, followed by an even nastier post-election barrage.
Sickness continues to threaten, and overtake, people all around.
Finances are stable for some, and in upheaval for others, and that fact alone causes tension.
Marriages struggle. Marriages grow.
Children behave. Children act like...children.
Churches fail. Churches thrive. Churches barely survive. Churches go stagnate.
People we love hurt us. People we love enrich our lives.
Beloved ones join our families.
Beloved ones leave this earth, leaving us shattered and wishing and aching and wanting time to move us years into the future where we no longer hurt so much.
Opinions abound on all fronts about all subjects. People hurl insults or hold grudges or choose a side of a matter that places them at odds with those around them, and then choose to allow opposing views to be cause for an actual wedge between them.
And so much more. So many things. Too many things.
Let's pause and look at that list once again. Really look at it.
How is that different from any other year? From EVERY other year?
Nothing is new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
And so I've discarded all my own personal thoughts on all the above mentioned situations in which we may find ourselves this day-before-the-new-year-begins.
Instead...I'm leaning in. Into the only One truly worth focusing my time and energy and heart on.
Because He is still on His throne today, the same as He was yesterday, and at the start of this year, and the same as He will be at the end of next year.
Even though nothing is new under the sun...EVERYTHING is new under the Son.
And that's worth celebrating. Even if 2016 sucked. Even if it was a banner year.
I don't care about any of it.
THIS is what I am focusing on...
"The grave could not hold You.
The veil tore before You.
You silenced the boast of sin and grave.
The heaven's are roaring the praise of Your glory,
For You are raised to life again.
You have no rival. You have no equal.
Now and forever, God, You reign.
Yours is the kingdom, Yours is the glory, Yours is the name above all names!"
(lyrics from 'What a Beautiful Name'-Hillsong)
Happy New Year's Eve to all of us. It's happy for only one reason.
Because He has already made ALL THINGS NEW.