December 31, 2021
(New Year’s Eve)
As I stand on this threshold between the old year and new, I look ahead with the hopeful optimism that comes from fresh starts and new beginnings. I look ahead with the peaceful gratitude that comes from the past year’s unexpected blessings and treasured moments. And yet, I look ahead with the resignation that comes from ongoing trials and continuing struggles. I look behind and wonder how many troubles and disappointments will cross this threshold with me, clinging to my weary soul as if to say, “Oh, you’re not finished with us yet!” I become hesitant to set goals or make resolutions, to reschedule vacations and plans, to believe this year will be better.
I imagine that many of you are asking the same question I have on my heart: Can I expect this year to be a better one, or should I expect more of the same?
Today I found a gift in the words, expect more of the same. In all of life, I can expect more of the same God…
I can expect more of the same God who has guided, comforted, calmed, helped, healed, forgiven, provided, encouraged, and loved me through every moment of every year.
I can expect more of the same God who helps me glean the blessings from the baggage, find the beauty in the burdens.
I can expect more of the same God who continues to invite, reveal, and beckon me to be a conduit of God’s peace, hope, joy, and love in this world.
I can expect more of the same God who provides courage for every calling, insight for every decision, wisdom for every question.
I can expect more of the same God who will never leave me alone, who will go with me on every new path, who will light my way through every darkness.
I can expect more of the same God who calls and equips me to do all I can to work for the good of all, yet who relieves and reassures me that I can entrust the rest to God.
I can expect more of the same life, a life that is filled with joy, hope, peace, beauty, love, purpose, delight, and meaning; a life that is also filled with surprise, hindrance, disappointment, and heartache. But I can expect more of the same God who will remain, uphold, and sustain; who will be a steadfast source of all that I will need for this wild journey of life.
Thank you, God, that in every moment, through all of life, I can expect more of the same infinite goodness of YOU.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 118:1 (NRSV)