At the beginning of last year, I wrote that I wanted 2021 to be good. After what it turned out to be, I don’t know that I have the energy to ask for that again. Not that I want to dismiss the entire year as bad, because it wasn’t (there were some wonderful aspects), but the lingering feeling from 2021 isn’t entirely positive. While I don’t want to be negative and assume the worst for 2022, I don’t have the same curious, excited attitude I normally have leading into a new year.
I usually enjoy reflecting, organising, planning. I love getting everything in order. I haven’t done that this year; partly because I’m still at my parents’ house and am in “holiday mode” away from a normal routine, but also because the thought of reflecting on such a year just sounds exhausting. I’d probably uncover some nasty things, and I’d rather keep them stuffed down for a little while longer. (Fear not, when I return to my usual abode I shall spend some specific time in reflection, so it will be dealt with at some point or another.)
As I said, I don’t want to start the year off negatively (though this post may send a different message), and I don’t want to give up on hope altogether, even though I am afraid of only being handed more disappointment. But maybe that has been my problem. Maybe I shouldn’t put hope in January 1st (no one day is magical) or a new year, or a new season. Maybe I shouldn’t put hope in my own ability to plan and set things in motion, but rather, have hope in God, who has everything in His hands. That sounds better, but harder to implement (for me at least).
I’m not saying that the excitement in a beginning, in a fresh start, is wrong, only that if it’s the only thing we have hope for, and it doesn’t go the way we want, disappointment is inevitable. However, if there is hope in God and an approach to this year with His goodness and love in mind, then we will not be so crushed when what we expect doesn’t eventualise. (Of course, we are still “allowed” to feel disappointed, and disappointment in itself is not what I would call a sin. I think, in ourselves, we know when we are being reasonably or unreasonably disappointed.)
While disappointment is unavoidable sometimes (like cancelled plans or a betrayal of some kind), having our eyes on Jesus, and placing our hope in Him, will help us not feel it so deeply in our souls when something doesn’t go according to plan. His comfort, His perspective, and, in some cases, His gentle discipline, give us a solid foundation in which we can stand firm.
I don’t know what this year holds. But I know I can have a true hope, a solid faith, in the one who saves.