I knew you would present yourself. The calendar, all twelve turnings, have led up to the moment when your new page would get hung on my studio wall. This decorated banner announces that something different, mysterious, and unknown is on its way.
In some ways I have dreaded your coming.
I have worried and cried about you. What will you bring with your fancy new number? What will the days be like?
You are bringing changes. I know this. You will offer a chance to experience something new. Some, like a new baby, are WONDERFUL changes and I look forward to his arrival and all that goes with loving a new little person. Other anticipations are not so easy. Some are unknown.
Change is not my favorite thing, unless it is a never-tried-before recipe for dinner, or tickets to a country outside our own! I want to fear you. I lean toward hiding, holing up or trying to stop the passage of time.
But time goes on, Dear 2017, and you are no different from the sixty-three other years that have come and gone before you. Except that I am now on your doorstep, peering into this particular immediate future, and I see life coming up that I am unsure of. How will these changes feel? Or are they fears waiting to laugh at me when they never materialize?
One thing I've learned, Mr. 2017, is that in order to be happy, strong, faithful to God, and resting in His goodness, I need to settle into what IS, not what IS NOT. Can I remember this as I develop a relationship with you?
OK. What IS, is now. It is today. Today is full of what I need to handle; what is happening at the present moment. I have friends who stand with me, a family who loves me, a God who has claimed me as His own. I'm good.
What IS NOT is the change I fear. Yes, those changes are coming, but what IS is so much stronger and knowable than what IS NOT. And when those changes come, they will be in the IS category where I can faithfully handle them. Worry is always in the IS NOT place where it makes up stories that scare.
So, as David wrote in Psalm 62, during an especially dreadful time:
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken...
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken...
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Truly, these words resonate with me. With hope in my God who sees and knows and loves more than I can ever imagine, I step confidently into you, Sweet 2017, and invite you to give me whatever is in store, all a part of God's loving plans. He is faithful. I trust His faithfulness and His care.