The week between Christmas and the new year is unique. Our activities usually involve packing away the Christmas decorations, sweeping away bits of wrapping paper, and munching on the goodness of holiday treats.
The end of December is a good time to seek God about direction for the new year through packing up, sweeping away, and looking ahead with the goodness of God.
We pack up the Christmas things, boxing away the memories. This is also a time for evaluating what I keep and will discard.
When I reflect on the past year, I review my previous calendar by writing down the shaping events and activities.
Doing this provides an overview of the year.
As I close my planner from the past year, I pack up those memories—some are satisfying, while others are not.
That’s the rhythm of life. By taking time to pray about the lessons learned throughout the year, we can look forward with hope to what the Lord has in store.
Isaiah 43:19 encourages us to look to the Lord after packing up the past year.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
God has new things in store when we cross the threshold of one year to the next.
The end of the year is also a time for clearing off my desk. Papers and old notes filled a sack for the trash. As I carried it from one end of the house to the other, the sack broke, spilling out bits of paper and crumbled notes all over the living room floor. Now I had a mess to clean up of the old litter from my office.
It didn’t take long to pick up the mess and move them to the kitchen garbage can. However, when I dumped them into that trash can, the entire contents spilled out of the broken bag all over the kitchen floor. Now I had to clean up the debris–again.
Once the odds and ends were gathered up and in the kitchen trash can, I had to sweep the surrounding floor and then take out the full bag to the garage trash can.
The unwanted clutter moved from my office to the kitchen to the garage, creating a mess along the way.
We carry attitudes into the new year. We continue to drag the heavy baggage from past hurts. The pain is hidden until it gets spilled out in our lives again, creating another mess.
With God’s help, the burdens and attitudes that clutter our hearts can be swept away for a fresh start.
Psalm 139: 23-24 is a prayer for a fresh start.
Search me, O God, and know heart. Try me and test my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me the way everlasting.
Looking Ahead with the Goodness of God
When we focus on the circumstances, regrets, and hurts, we lose sight of the simple truth that God is good.
God is the standard of goodness, not life in 21st century.
Even as we munch of leftover Christmas treats, we can taste the goodness of God through his blessings.
Psalm 34:8 reminds us
Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
He is our strength in the trials. God is good because he is our refuge in the storms of life.
God has given us hope through prayer. We can pause and pray about the new year, looking ahead with faith.
God is sovereign over every circumstance.
The new year will soon be here.
Are you ready to pack up, sweep away, and look ahead with the goodness of God?